A local group of military veterans received high school diplomas Thursday.
Operation Recognition awarded diplomas to seven veterans in Santa Barbara County who weren’t been able to earn their diplomas previously because they were serving our country.
“It’s about us thanking each of them for giving us the opportunity to thank them for their service and to provide them with their diplomas. It was our honor,” said Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools.
The honorees included Marine Corps veteran Henry Alvarado from Buellton, Air Force veteran John Robert Blomstrand from Goleta, Air Force veteran Henry Thomas Davis from Santa Maria, Army veteran Margarito Delgadillo from Goleta, and Navy veteran Timothy Lane from Santa Barbara.
“I’ve been thinking about this since I went into the military in 1952, but it really hit home when I was working as a full-time counselor at Hancock College and all the students you talk to are so happy about getting their high school diploma,” said Davis.
Two diplomas were given out posthumously to the families of Marine Corps veteran Arley Allison Kittle, who was from Santa Barbara, as well as Army veteran Harry Bernard Pico, who was from Goleta.
The event was the first of its kind for the county.
The California Education Code allows county education offices to give out diplomas. The Santa Barbara County of Education office uses that authority to honor veterans who have proven to be worthy of the distinguished recognition.