95-year-old World War II vet earns his high school diploma after 77 years

  • 20 Nov - 26 Nov, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

A 95-year-old man who served in World War II got to celebrate Veteran's Day in the best way this year: by finally getting his high school diploma. Louis Picariello was incredibly emotional as he received his diploma from Needham High School, nearly eight decades after he left to fight for his country. Picariello had just turned 18 in March 1944 when he left Needham High a few months before graduation to join the Marines. While in the service, Picariello worked as a heavy equipment operator, per the outlet. He later welcomed a large family, including three children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. But despite all of those accomplishments, Picariello felt he was still missing a major one: earning his high school diploma. "It's been a bucket list item, most recently in the last few years," his son, Michael, told WHDH. Wanting to make it happen, Picariello's friends at the local VFW recently reached out to Needham Public Schools and asked if getting his diploma would still be a possibility. The district instantly agreed – and just one day before Veteran's Day and on the 246th anniversary of the Marine Corps being founded, it finally happened. In a moving ceremony at Needham High, which was attended by Picariello's friends and family, Superintendent Daniel Gutekanst and Principal Aaron Sicotte presented him with his diploma.