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Local man gets diploma 43 years late

January 19, 2012

The Morning News — Leslie Mielke Brent Young receives his Snake River High School (SRHS) diploma at the Snake River school board meeting Wednesday evening. Young was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy in October 1968 and was unable to graduate with his class. The diploma he received was dated June 2, 1969. "I couldn't find the '69 emblem or I would have included that, too," said SRHS principal Dean Bonney.

THOMAS — Brent K. Young received his Snake River High School (SRHS) diploma Wednesday evening, only 43 years after he finished high school.
Last month, the Snake River school board members voted to award Young his diploma.
After joining the U.S. Navy in 1968, Young was told he could graduate with his class. The Vietnam conflict changed that when he was called into active duty in October of that year.
"I'm truly excited to do this for you," said SRHS principal Dean Bonney. "My oldest brother graduated in 1969; he is nine years older than I. Things seemed very different then.
"I know the Detroit Tigers won the World Series in 1968 because I am a lifelong Tigers fan," he said.
"We checked your school records; you far exceeded the requirements," Bonney said. "We thank you for your service to your family, our community and our nation."
"I'm the only one of my family that didn't go through the line," Young said. "You don't know what this means to my mother.
"For all those veterans who did not receive their diploma, I hope they receive it because they deserve it," he said.
Young served as a boilermaker on a hospital ship and was wounded in an accident on board during the Vietnam Conflict.
He was in a hospital for nine months and was told he would never walk again.
"I was walking with the help of two canes when I flew into Pocatello," Young said. "It took me an hour to walk from the tarmac to the terminal."
Young is a retired operating engineer from Local 370 in Pocatello. He worked as a crane operator.
His family — wife, Shelli and daughters Autumn Skiles, Andrea Smythe and Ashlie Young, and his mother, Virginia Young—as well as his extended family proudly watched as Young received his diploma.
Eight veterans also attended this ceremony.

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