MIDDLEBOURNE - A Tyler County man recently graduated 50 years after leaving high school for military service.
"It's something I never thought would happen," said 65-year-old Roger Post, of Middlebourne, on finally receiving his high school diploma almost 50 years after leaving school to join the war effort in Vietnam. "It took me 50 years, but I got it!"
Post was among 38 graduates of Valley High School who donned their caps and gowns for commencement on May 24 as an honorary graduate.
"We were so proud ... he was so proud ... it was wonderful," said his wife Cathy. "The graduates, the teachers, coaches, alumni, former classmates and just everybody was so kind to him, and so appreciative for his military service. All I can say is that it was a wonderful experience."
Roger Dale Post was in the first freshman class to attend the newly consolidated Valley High School in Pine Grove, when just two weeks after turning 17, he left his carefree school days behind him and enlisted in the United States Navy.
He went from boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill., to signalman school in Rhode Island. For the next four years, he was aboard the aircraft carrier the USS Randolph, CV 15, stationed in Norfolk, Va. He sailed the Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans, taking the time to earn his GED.
Upon his return home, he was hired at Union Carbide, retiring after 34 years as a first line supervisor.
Post and wife Cathy Darlene Reed will soon celebrate 33 years of marriage. Of their four children, Rhonda, Richie, Jason and Amanda, the two boys followed their father into the Navy.
He is the grandfather of one grandson, two granddaughters and the great-grandfather of one great-granddaughter.
Post never forgot his military roots. He holds the office of adjutant of the Sistersville American Legion Post 67, is a member of the American Legion Riders and the Patriot Guard. He serves as an escort for United States Warriors killed in action as well as services for all veterans in all wars. He is a past member of the Honor Guard and Color Guard of Post 67 and the Sistersville VFW.