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World War II veteran gets diploma from Albert Gallatin

By Amy Fauth 2 min read
article image - Amy Fauth|无毛视频-Standard
World War II veteran Louis Watkins Davis received his Albert Gallatin Area High School diploma during a private ceremony on Wednesday. Standing behind Watkins are, from left, Dr. Eric Witt, high school principal; Ryan Porupski, district school board president; and district Superintendent Christopher Pegg.

At 96, Louis Watkins Davis of Masontown has lived a full life.

He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, opened a small coal mine in Ronco, married the love of his life, and was father to five children, grandfather to nine and great grandfather to 12.

But among his many life experiences, there was one he missed out on: his high school graduation.

On Wednesday, with his loving and large family at his side, that changed during a private commencement ceremony at Albert Gallatin Area High School.

Davis didn’t receive his diploma because he left high school after his freshman year to follow his older brother Robert into the military. In the Navy, Davis served on NTS Great Lakes, Ill.; Beach Battalion “F” ATB Oceanside, Calif.; Beach Battalion “B” ATB Oceanside; USS North Carolina and USS Philadelphia. While on the USS North Carolina, he served as a signalman.

Davis said he has no regrets about leaving high school for the military and was honored to receive his diploma – even if his graduation came nearly eight decades late.

“This is very nice,” Davis said. “I think it’s very nice that they put the time in and I’m really proud to be able to have (done) what I did.”

The idea of presenting Davis with his diploma came about after Ryan Porupski, AG school board president, met Davis when his daughter brought him to the polls for the primary election. After hearing his story, Porupski knew that had to change.

Superintendent Christopher Pegg agreed.

“It’s a great honor for us to be able to do this,” said Pegg.

After the ceremony, school officials, Davis and his family went down the hall to visit the school’s Hall of Honor, which displays photos of Albert Gallatin graduates who have served in their country. They unveiled the newest addition – a photograph of Davis dressed in his uniform.

Everyone in attendance just had one question for Davis. “Where are you going for college?”

His daughter, Carolyn Balsega had the answer.

“He used to tell us he went to Whyel College of Technical Knowledge because he grew up on Whyel Avenue in Uniontown,” said Balsega.

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