97-year-old war veteran from Philadelphia finally gets high school diploma

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97-year-old war veteran finally gets high school diploma. Christie Ileto reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on July 16, 2017. (WPVI)

A very special celebration took place for a 97-year-old South Philadelphia man who received his high school diploma Sunday.

It's been the dream of a lifetime for Charles Leuzzi, a decorated World War II veteran.

His family made it all possible.

Leuzzi was forced to leave high school his junior year to support his family, and he was then drafted as a teen to fight in World War II.

Two Purple Hearts, four Bronze Star medals and generations of children and grandchildren later, the Philadelphia School District gave him his honorary diploma.

"This is good, I finally done it," he said. "I had to wait a long time for it, but I got it."

His family was there to mark the occasion.

"It meant everything, especially when he saw all his friends," daughter Beverly Pintarelli said. "Just living to be 97 is a blessing. We're happy we made him happy with a lifelong dream."

He might be the oldest member of the class of 2017, but his dreams don't end here. So is college in his future?

"Yeah, might as well," he said. "I don't have anything else to do."
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