WWII veteran, 96, gets degree delayed by nearly 7 decades

World War II veteran Bob Barger stands Saturday, May 5, 2018, during the national anthem at the commencement ceremony at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Now, 68 years since he last sat in a classroom, Barger graduated after a review of his transcripts from the late 1940s showed he completed enough courses to qualify for an associate's degree, a two-year diploma not offered when he was still in school. "It was something I never dreamed of," said Barger, 96. "I knew I couldn't go back to school now. The university took a look at Barger's old school records because of a friendship he struck up with Haraz Ghanbari, the school's director of military and veteran affairs. CARLOS OSORIO/AP

TOLEDO, Ohio — A World War II veteran who flew planes for the Navy has received his college degree to a standing ovation 68 years after he took his last class.

Bob Barger, 96, was honored Saturday at the University of Toledo’s commencement ceremony, where he received an associate’s degree.

A review of his transcripts from the late 1940s shows he completed enough classes to qualify for the degree, which wasn’t offered when he was in school.

Barger came home to Toledo after World War II and started taking college classes. But he never finished his degree because he was busy with a job and raising a family.

He said getting the degree reminds him of all the friends and family who’ve been a part of his life.

World War II veteran Bob Barger, 96, assisted by Haraz Ghanbari, the University of Toledo's director of military and veteran affairs, looks at his diploma during the commencement ceremony at the university Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Toledo, Ohio. CARLOS OSORIO/AP

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