WATCH: 100-Year-Old Veteran Who Served in Three Wars Given Long-Awaited College Diploma

A 100-year-old veteran of three wars finally received something he had been waiting for since the 1960s in College Park, Maryland, on Tuesday.

When Air Force Officer John “Jack” Milton earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) 58 years ago, he was very proud, 11 Alive reported.

Milton served with the Army Air Corps in 1943 during World War II and flew in Korea and Vietnam. However, when he was shipped off to Vietnam in 1966, he never got his diploma.

“I thought about it many times that I was unable to attend my ceremony after all that hard work,” he told NBC 4 Washington.

The Vietnam War came to a close in January 1973 when the United States and North Vietnam “concluded a final peace agreement, ending open hostilities between the two nations,” according to

To Milton’s great delight and surprise, he was recently honored with a long-awaited graduation ceremony during a luncheon at an art gallery on the university’s campus.

During the gathering, UMGC Associate Vice President for Stateside Military Operations Nicole DeRamus said, “Thank you for everything you have done in serving our country, giving back to your alma mater, and so generously supporting those learners who need us most.”

Video footage shows images of Milton throughout his military career while serving as a pilot in the three wars, according to WUSA 9.

“I’ve had many ceremonies throughout my life, fortunately, but this has to be the top,” Milton said.

When Milton’s wife passed away in 2014, he was unofficially adopted into the family of Ugandan immigrant Nora Ubala. They all became friends when she worked for the veteran and his wife as a nurse more than 20 years ago.

Ubala had tender words for the man who has meant so much to her loved ones over the years. She said, “He’s like my father. I call him that. And my children call him grandfather.”


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