High School Honors 100-Year-Old WWII Veteran Drafted At Age Of 18 With Honorary Diploma

Explore the extraordinary life of Eugene 'Jack' Kraszewski, a World War II veteran who landed on Utah Beach on D-Day and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
Credit: WBAY TV-2 | Green Bay, WI YouTube

Eugene “Jack” Kraszewski was drafted right after turning 18 years old, joining the 553 Anti-aircraft Battalion, Ninth Division on March 1, 1943.

He landed on Utah Beach on D-Day and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

The Battle of the Bulge was the last major German offensive in the West, launched in December 1944 during World War II. Aiming to split Allied forces in the Ardennes region, it ultimately failed, leading to heavy losses for Germany and setting the stage for the final Allied advance towards victory.

As a result of his military service, Kraszewski was unable to complete his senior year of high school.

Last week, however, the now 100-year-old veteran was presented with an honorary high school diploma by the Pulaski Community School District.

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World War II Veteran Jack Kraszewski Gets His Diploma

Jack Kraszewski being awarded a high school diploma 81 years after being drafted into the military during World War II is remarkable.

Earlier this year, the community of Pulaski came together to honor his service and his 100th birthday with a parade in his honor. Kraszewski rode through the streets in a WWII-era Jeep.

“Words can’t describe how much I enjoyed it,” said Kraszewski of the parade. “So many people came out to see me.”

He also recalled to reporters the dangers he faced in Europe fighting for America.

“We’d shoot down strafing aircraft, low-flying planes,” he said. “Cause our guns were 40 millimeter and 50 caliber, so we couldn’t reach the bombers.”

“We were out in the wet, in the air, weather, twenty-four-seven.”

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Also Visited France On D-Day

Jack Kraszewski also returned to France with other veterans to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

He entered France a few months after D-Day, NBC 26 in Northeast Wisconsin reports. Following the parade, he recalled an emotional reunion with his father when he returned home from war.

“I walked in the house and I yelled ‘Anybody home?’ and my dad got up and that was a good reunion,” he said.

Kraszewski would return to a job as a cheesemaker where he eventually met his wife and started a family.

He indicates he doesn’t quite know what the secret to a long life is, but suspects it involves some help from above.

“I don’t know, the guy upstairs took care of me,” he said.

Now the community is taking care of him.

Rusty Weiss has been covering politics for over 15 years. His writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, Fox... More about Rusty Weiss

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