World War II Veteran Graduates Skiatook High School At 91

Thursday, May 21st 2015, 11:08 pm
By: News On 6

A World War II veteran is among the graduating class of 2015. His diploma comes more than 70 years late, but it has become even more meaningful with time.

William Larkin was a bit overwhelmed Thursday night at Skiatook High School but said he was honored, and there were tears to show it.

At 91-years-old, William Larkin was obviously the oldest graduate of the Skiatook High School Class of 2015.

He hasn't been working to get his diploma all these years. In fact, he hasn't taken a class at Skiatook High School since he was 17; before he enlisted to become a Marine.

"I did. I joined the Marines. I was proud of it. I'm still proud of it," he said.

William traded his small Oklahoma town for a ticket to San Diego.

He was one of the Marines who landed on Iwo Jima during the major World War II battle, and if you ask him what he remembers about the war he'll say it's the Marine casualties on the island.

"I helped load casualties, Marine casualties, for three days and I had nightmares over that for a long time,” he said.

His bride of almost 70 years, Lois Larkin, has been by his side through it all, and wrote him every day of the war.

"I got out of the Marine Corps and the best thing I ever did was marry that little lady over there," he said of his wife.

He and Lois met in class at Skiatook High School, which is why Thursday night's moment was so special for them both.

Speechless was how many people felt watching William walk the stage, 73 years later. He even had something to say about his fellow graduates.

"As long as we've got people like them coming out, I don't worry about the red, white and blue being, anybody taking it," he said. "They live in the best country in the world. There's no place like the United States. I don't care what anybody says."

In case you're wondering, William and Lois still have all their love letters.

William also gave some marriage advice, saying if he knows he's right he doesn't say anything, and if he knows he's wrong he apologizes.