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Santa Barbara County Education Office awards six veterans retroactive high school diplomas

Santa Barbara County Education Office

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Education Office awarded six veterans retroactive high school diplomas on Thursday night during a traditional graduation ceremony.

“After the tremendous service you’ve given, and the sacrifices you’ve made, it is now our moment to provide a tangible acknowledgment of our gratitude in your honor, and in honor of your legacies," said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Salcido.

"Today, we are recognizing individuals who have served our country and then went on to serve their communities. Their life’s work reflects the very attributes represented by a high school diploma. That’s why it is essential that we acknowledge their achievements and hear and remember their stories - which have impacted us all.”

The six veterans were unable to finish high school because of military service or internment in a relocation camp, according to Camilla Barnwell, spokeswoman for the county Education Office.

Marcos Ramirez Carrillo, Jesus Torres Jr., Shukichi Hokedo, Modesto Cardenas, and Guadalupe Lopez, and Clark Hoyt all received the retroactive diplomas.

Salcido presented the diplomas to the vets, and four were awarded posthumously through family members who received the diploma on behalf of their dead father or grandpa, Barnwell.

Over 200 people attended the event, Barnwell said, including public and law enforcement officials, veterans' groups, and representatives from the Vandenberg Space Force Base.

The California Education Code allows the granting of retroactive high school diplomas to veterans whose education was interrupted by service in the Korean War, World War II, the Vietnam War, or by internment in a relocation camp during World War II, Barnwell said.

Thursday's event was the second year that the education office has organized the Operation Recognition program and graduation ceremony, and it has awarded in total 13 county veterans diplomas.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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