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SCOE Offering Diplomas to Qualifying Veterans and Interned Japanese-Americans

Call for Applications as Board Expands Program to Include Vietnam War Veterans


The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has announced that it will again award high school diplomas to qualifying U.S. veterans and Japanese-American citizens through its popular "Operation Recognition" program.

The Operation Recognition program was adopted in October 2001 by the Sacramento County Board of Education to honor the contributions and sacrifices of individuals who missed completing high school to serve in the U.S. military (specifically World War II or the Korean War) or relocate to a World War II internment camp for Japanese-American citizens. Last year, the County Board of Education expanded the program to include veterans of the Vietnam War.

"Many young people set aside their education to serve our country during times of war," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools Dave Gordon. "These veterans and Japanese-American citizens went on to make innumerable contributions throughout their lives, and it is time that we honor them for the sacrifices they made."

Residents of Sacramento County are encouraged to request diplomas on behalf of themselves or qualifying family members, including persons who are now deceased. April 30, 2007, is the deadline to submit applications.

The Sacramento County Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next Operation Recognition diploma awards ceremony in May 2007.

Operation Recognition applications are available by mail from: Operation Recognition, P.O. Box 269003, Sacramento, CA 95826-9003. To request an application be mailed, call (916) 228-2449. Applications are also available from the Sacramento County Veterans Service Office, located in midtown Sacramento at 2007-19th Street.

Qualification Requirements

  1. Applicant or recipient is a Sacramento County resident;
  2. Veterans—show proof of Honorable Discharge from U.S. military service occurring during WW II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War;
  3. Japanese-American citizens—show proof of internment in a WW II relocation camp; and
  4. Veterans and Japanese-American citizens—provide name of high school the applicant was attending at time of induction into military service or internment.

An application may be submitted by a family member of a qualifying individual, living or deceased. Persons who meet the qualifications, but earned a GED, are eligible. Those living outside Sacramento County will be referred to their local county office of education.

California law (Education Code § 51440) authorizes the granting of retroactive high school diplomas to eligible veterans. California Assembly Bill 781 was enacted as law (Education Code § 51430) on January 1, 2004, specifically authorizing the retroactive granting of diplomas to persons whose internment by federal order in World War II prevented them from graduating from their hometown high school. High school diplomas have been awarded to 84 individuals through Sacramento County's Operation Recognition program since 2001. Four of the diplomas were awarded posthumously.