Student Veterans of America

World War II Veteran Is Now a College Grad, 68-Years Later

May 01, 2018 - 3:31 pm

By Rebecca Zamer/Joe Cingrana

Like many veterans of foreign wars, returning to life at home after deployment oftentimes sees the soldier beginning a new job with skills acquired in the field, returning to finish schooling, and starting a family. That's exactly what World War II veteran Navy pilot Bob Barger did from 1947 to 1950 -- studied business and advertising while working for a paper company and taking care of his wife and young daughter.

Now, 96-years-old and 68-years since his last classroom appearance, the former aviator will officially graduate from the University of Toledo after a review of his school transcripts showed he completed enough courses for an associate's degree, a two-year diploma which was not even being offered when he was still in school. Records showed Barger completed 83 hours of credits, almost 20 more than the required credits for the associate's degree.

Members of the university's Student Veterans of America chapter bought him a cap and gown that he tried on last week. "I fit. I guess I look pretty good in it," he said in an interview with Military Times.

The senior center where Barger lives is even planning a graduation party for the recent graduate. 

Barger jokes that he now plans to find "a cushy job where I can play golf."