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'I never figured I’d get to this point at my age' | 96-year-old World War II veteran in Central Texas receives high school diploma

Lupe Dimas was drafted into World War II in 1944. He later joined the National Guard and served for 28 years. His one regret in life was not graduating high school.

LAMPASAS, Texas — A lifelong dream became a reality for World War II veteran Lupe Dimas. After nearly 80 years since being drafted, the 96-year-old received his high school diploma from Lampasas High School on Thursday, Sept. 14.

"I'm very grateful today for today," Dimas said. "Education is very important. I never figured I'd get to this point at my age."

Born in 1926, Dimas was drafted into the United States Army at 18.

Lampasas County Sheriff Jess Ramos said the veteran was taken out of school in 3rd grade and never learned how to read. However, education was always important to him.

Dimas served in World War II for four years, and later joined the National Guard where he served for another 28 years. 

While he fought hard for our country, Dimas still dreamed of one thing: a high school diploma.

Ramos made it a mission to make this dream come true after Dimas got COVID-19 and was in hospice for six weeks in 2021. There, the two developed a deep relationship while Ramos was his spiritual advisor. 

"I can't put into words," Ramos said. "I can just tell you that I'm glad it happened. We waited so long. A high school diploma is just the start of many things that can open all kinds of achievements."

Dimas' daughter, Diane Hibbert, was just as excited for her father. She told 6 News that her father's diploma will now sit alongside hers and her four other siblings' diplomas. Now, his entire family all graduated from Lampasas High School.

"My dad always said, don't ever give up on your dreams," she added. "You never know how they're going to come true for you."

Lampasas ISD presented the veteran with a military honors cord and an honors blanket with his name on it. This week Dimas is also celebrating 74 years of marriage with his wife who attended the ceremony on Thursday.

"This is a legitimate degree," Hibbert said. "If you're a veteran between 1944 and 1975, there's a legal clause that says they're afforded a legitimate degree, so his is not an honorary degree. This is an actual high school diploma."

6 News asked Dimas what his plans are next. With a warm smile, he shared he wants to teach at a high school.

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