The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has announced that applications are available for U.S. veterans and Japanese American WW II internees to receive high school diplomas. Diplomas will be awarded through the Operation Recognition program, which honors the contributions and sacrifices of individuals who missed completing high school to serve in the U.S. military (World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam War) or to relocate to a World War II internment camp for Japanese American citizens.
Applications are also available by mail: Operation Recognition, P.O. Box 269003, Sacramento, CA 95826-9003, or by phone: (916) 228-2416. Applications are also available at the Sacramento County Veterans Service Office, located in midtown Sacramento at 2007-19th Street, and from branches of the Sacramento Public Library.
"So many of our veterans put their educations aside to preserve our democracy during times of war," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools Dave Gordon. "Operation Recognition is our opportunity to humbly honor those veterans, and Japanese-American citizens, who sacrificed their personal goals and made countless contributions to our country."
The Sacramento County Board of Education has provided diplomas to 142 qualifying veterans and Japanese American citizens through Operation Recognition since the program's adoption in 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 people 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.
Qualifications for an Operation Recognition diploma include:
- Applicant or recipient is a Sacramento County resident;
- Veterans—show proof of Honorable Discharge (Form DD 214 or equivalent) from U.S. military service occurring during WW II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War;
- 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.
A family member of a qualifying individual, living or deceased, may submit an application. People who meet the qualifications, but earned a GED or attended college, are eligible.
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.