Forty-seven years later, Vietnam War veteran Robert Molina Sr. received his high school diploma at the age of 65 at Friday night's graduation ceremony.
Molina finally walked across the stage to get his diploma with his family on the side lines.
“It's something I always wanted but couldn't get when I was young,” he said. “It's a dream come true.”
He enlisted in the Army in 1968 and was deployed to the Vietnam War soon after. He did not get to wear his burnt orange gown and walk the stage with his fellow classmates.
“I never thought I could get my diploma after all these years,” Molina said. “Not until I heard of a fellow veteran who was about to receive his.”
According to Molina's sister, Sylvia Hernandez he cried when he received the news of approval from the Alice Independent School District.
At the ceremony, Molina had the honor of receiving his long awaited diploma and received a standing ovation from the graduating Class of 2015. He shook the hands of the school board members, superintendent and assistant superintendent who thanked him for his military service.
Molina got emotional and wiped away his tears.
“I enlisted in the military because I wanted to serve my country,” he said. “Education is important and even though I didn't get to do this many many years ago, I am ready to walk the stage.”