HOUSTON (KTRK) --Seven decades later, an 89-year-old military veteran will finally receive his high school diploma.
Elmer Brull joined the military two months before he would have graduated from high school in 1945 in Kansas. He served four years in the Merchant Marines and two years in the Army.
He moved to the Houston area after his honorable discharge, built an auto shop and raised four children. He did all of that without a high school diploma.
"When graduation came around for the students, they had a diploma for me, but they put it in a vault," said Brull. "And it stayed in that vault. Nobody knew about it."
Nobody knew about it until now. His daughter, Terri Wemhoff, found out about Operation Rescue, a program that allows eligible veterans to get their diplomas.
"We're very proud. He's been a wonderful dad, a wonderful grandpa and a wonderful great grandpa," Wemhoff said, "So we're very fortunate to have him."
Brull stays busy these days, hand-crafting cedar chests and other furniture items. He hopes to continue his work - this time, as an official high school graduate.
If you think a veteran in your family could be eligible to receive his or her high school diploma, you can apply here.