They say it’s never too late to achieve your dreams. World War II Veteran Weldon Edward McClane is proof of that: he graduated from Sadler-Southmayd High School at the end of last month at the age of 98.
McClane is one of the last living members of his military division. He was a proud member of the 297th U.S. Army Combat Engineers.
The veteran originally dropped out of high school to fight for his country near the start of WWII.
When he was only 16 years old, Pearl Harbor was bombed. McClane felt an urge to step up.
“I dropped out of school and tried to get in the Navy, [but] I was too young,” McClane stated.
Despite his efforts to join the Navy, McClane was eventually drafted into the U.S. Army. He later went on to be one of many on the beaches of Normandy.
“I was on the second wave of D-Day. Then it wasn’t long after that I got hit.”
He told NBC DFW of being wounded in battle, which earned him the Purple Heart. Once he recovered, he was sent back to his division to continue the fight.
“My sergeant saw me and asked, ‘What the hell did you come back here for?’ I told him, ‘Somebody had to show you how to build bridges.'”
McClane felt he left something unfinished by graduating from high school earlier in life and sought to return.
Incidentally, his graduation ceremony was on his 98th birthday. He shared the celebratory weekend with his great-granddaughter, who also graduated from high school that day.