Veteran receives diploma 47 years after graduating class

Jessica Sommerville | Online Editor

After 47 years, veteran Steve Mullins is a Mason High School graduate.

Initially a member of the Class of 1969, Mullins was a senior during the Vietnam War. He was taking one and a half credits, but as students were then required to take two credits in order to be considered full-time students, his name was submitted to the draft.

With two months left in his high school career, Mullins decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. He never received his diploma – until the April 26 School Board meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Gail Kist-Kline presented Mullins with the diploma. According to Kist-Kline, Mullin’s story had a personal impact.

“His story touched my heart,” Kist-Kline said. “Here is a Mason person who joined the army in March of his senior year, and it was clear that after all this time, receiving his diploma was still important to him.”

Kist-Kline researched Ohio law and found that veterans from certain conflicts, including the Vietnam War, who were discharged honorably could still be eligible to receive a diploma. She then began to work with Mullins to plan when he would receive his diploma.

Mullins drove 19 hours from Denver, Colo. to attend the school board meeting, and after holding his diploma in hand, Mullins said the feeling is unmatched. 

“(It’s) exceptional,” Mullins said. “I have missed this for all these years. It’s something else off the bucket list, but I’ve had that bucket list for a long time. And this was at the top of that list.”

For more of Mullins’s story, read the full version in the May 13 edition of the Chronicle.


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Photos by Staff Writer Jonathan McCollough