CIRCLEVILLE, OH (WCMH) – Robert Lockard dropped out of Circleville High School more than 70 years ago to join the military and serve his country in World War II.

Lockard, 92, earned numerous medals during his service, and on Sunday, he finally earned another honor: his high school diploma.

Lockard remembers the exact day he came home from war after fighting in central Europe, Northern France and Normandy on D-Day.

“If it hadn’t’ been raining and a sloppy mess, I think I would’ve kissed the ground I was so homesick,” he said.

The veteran was supposed to have graduated from high school in 1944, but life happened and so did the war.

“I saw too much death,” Lockard said. “I don’t want to talk about that.”

Fast forward to Sunday, and the citizens he served came to honor him at Circleville High School’s 2018 commencement.

Dressed in his cap and gown, Lockard walked across the stage to receive his diploma, a pursuit 74 years in the making. He can now say that along with being a WWII Victory Medal recipient, he is now a high school graduate as a proud member of the class of 2018.

“It means everything to me. Everything,” Lockard said as he fought back tears of joy. “All these years man, I thought about this.”