The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is again awarding 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. In 2005, the County Board of Education expanded the program to include veterans of the Vietnam War.
"During times of war, thousands of young men and women across this country left high school to serve in the armed forces. Their sacrifices ensured our freedom, and shaped the course of history," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon. "Operation Recognition is a small, and overdue, gesture of gratitude for the great sacrifices and contributions these individuals made in the name of freedom."
The Sacramento County Board of Education has provided diplomas to 142 qualifying veterans and Japanese-American citizens through Operation Recognition since 2001. Four of the diplomas have been awarded posthumously.
Residents of Sacramento County are encouraged to request diplomas on behalf of themselves or qualifying family members, including persons who are now deceased. May 3, 2010, is the deadline to submit applications. The Sacramento County Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next Operation Recognition diploma awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 18, 2010.
Operation Recognition applications are available by mail from:
P.O. Box 269003
Sacramento, CA 95826-9003
To request that an application be mailed, phone (916) 228-2416. Applications are also available from the Sacramento County Veterans Service Office, located in midtown Sacramento at 2007-19th Street.
Qualifications for an Operation Recognition diploma include:
- Applicant or recipient is a Sacramento County resident;
- Veterans—show proof of Honorable Discharge from U.S. military service occurring during WW II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War (DD Form 214 preferred);
- Japanese-American citizens—show proof of internment in a WW II relocation camp; and
- Veterans and Japanese-American citizens—give name of high school 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.