In a prelude to Memorial Day, four veterans were presented high school diplomas at last night’s Sacramento County Board of Education meeting. The diploma ceremony, held at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) David P. Meaney Education Center, was attended by family members and friends of the honorees. The Marine Corps League of Folsom Color Guard conducted the opening flag ceremony.
Robert Joseph Arnold (Vietnam War, U.S. Army)
Solomon Alexander Chandler* (World War II, U.S. Navy)
Robert Norman Farley* (World War II, U.S. Army Air Corps)
Earl J. Johnson (Vietnam War, U.S. Navy)
* posthumous award
Diplomas were presented through SCOE’s Operation Recognition program, adopted by the County Board of Education in 2001 to retroactively honor U.S. veterans and Japanese American citizens who missed graduating with their high school classes due to wartime circumstances. District Director Matthew Ceccato also presented the graduates with certificates on behalf of Congressman Ami Bera.
A reception prior to the meeting featured hors d'oeuvres prepared by students of the Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School Culinary Café. Families and friends gathered for photos and refreshments following the ceremony.
Essay Contest Winner
In conjunction with the ceremony, Folsom High School senior Elisabeth Nations read her award-winning essay, “America: Built on Ideals,” and received a $500 scholarship from SAFE Credit Union—the sponsor of SCOE’s 2017 Operation Recognition Essay Contest. This year’s essay theme was “Why You Cannot Be a Passive Patriot.” SAFE Credit Union Director Herb Long presented Hanson with her scholarship check.
Folsom High School senior Chase Bowker was also invited by the Board of Education to present a speech titled “What I’m Doing After High School.” In the speech Bowker originally wrote for this year’s County Academic Decathlon (earning him a Gold medal), he recounted what inspired him to enter the U.S. Marine Corps following high school graduation.
About Operation Recognition in Sacramento County
Operation Recognition high school diplomas are authorized by the California
Education Code (§ 51430–§ 51442). Since the program’s start in Sacramento County,
188 diplomas have now been awarded; 13 of those have been presented posthumously to surviving family members of veterans and Japanese American internees.
Those interested in applying for the Operation Recognition diploma for themselves or a qualifying family member may contact SCOE at (916) 228-2416 or
download an application form online. The next awards ceremony is planned for May 2018.