The belated graduation commencement took place among at least 50 family and friends and one congresswoman. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-Banner Elk, attended the celebration at West Jefferson’s town park and presented the graduating certificate to the 81-year-old Greer.
“I remember in 2001 when I was in the General Assembly I voted for this,” Foxx said.
This was a special agreement to allow members of the military service, who meet certain requirements to receive the diploma they never got after entering service in World War II.
“There were many like Mr. Greer who left to serve their country and never got their diploma. We wanted to make sure in this small way to honor your service,” Foxx said. “You are the greatest generation.”
She complimented his family on coming together in support of him.
“You humble me. This is a sign of a very loving family and group of friends. That is what is important,” Foxx said.
Several other veterans were also in attendance, one wearing remnants of an Army uniform.
Greer’s son, Buddy served in Vietnam.
For the ceremony Saturday, family members helped him don a cap and gown and he made his way to the front of the picnic shelter to receive his diploma. He used the aid of a wheeled walker and wore a grin.
Greer returned from service after the war to raise a family and support it with earnings from trucking and farming.
He later earned a GED but had no diploma until Saturday.