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Vietnam Vet graduates from Bennett High School

Posted at 12:23 AM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-25 10:33:55-04

In 1960, United States involvement in Vietnam was just starting to ramp up.  Frederick Fanaro Junior was a sophomore at Buffalo's Bennett High School.

"I saw a need for me to serve my country.  So I went and enlisted at the age of 17-years-old and had a great career in the United States Marine Corps.  I have been overseas.  I have been half way around the world and back again.  I am really proud to be here," Fanaro remembered.

More than 50 years later, Fanaro was back.  "Today is one of the most highlights of my life.  I am very very thrilled over this.  It's an opportunity to come back to my old alma mater," he added.

With close family members and the graduating class of 2016 looking on, Fanaro walked across the stage to pick up the high school diploma he never received. "It's an exhilarating feeling.  Today has been a day set aside that is like no other," Fanaro said.

The 73-year-old Fanaro only retired last year. So what did he think about sharing the day with students more than half a century younger?

"It was a special treat for me to be here.  It's just unbelievable.  That's what I want people to know, that this is our younger generation.  They are going to be running this county.  I'm very proud of this country, and I'm sure they are going to carry on after I am long gone,"  Fanaro remarked.