Abner Simon is an 89-year-old American.

He’s also a man who fought for his country in World War II.

In 1945, just days away from graduating Orangefield High School in Texas, he was called upon by Uncle Sam, and drafted into the military.

Upon returning from war, Simon earned his GED, a somewhat redundant achievement, considering he (unbeknownst to him at the time) was already in the books as a high school graduate.

The vet eventually went on to earn a college degree, settled down in Richmond, Virginia, and take up the spiritual vocation: a preacher. On a recent visit down south to see family, he swung by his alma mater, and was finally — after more than 70 years — given his diploma, along with his transcripts.

This from the New York Daily News:

His paper chase turned into a celebration thanks to the Orangefield superintendent who heard about Simon. He pulled together the class of 2017 and the school band to give Simon the graduation ceremony he never had.

The veteran even offered up a few words of wisdom, telling his fellow classmates to select your friends “wisely”.

That’s him in the bright orange cap and gown in the photograph above.