Max Resnik, KJRH-TV
TULSA, Okla. (KJRH) - Bill Tinsley was 16 years old when he enlisted in the Navy to defend the U.S. in World War II.
His pre-war work to support his family and eventual service in WWII took precedence over his pursuit of a high school diploma. On Thursday, after two months of study, Tinsley earned that diploma.
For the first time, the 85-year-old put on his cap and gown, walked around a high school gymnasium and accepted his diploma. He did so in front of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Hundreds of students at Bixby High School gave Tinsley a raucous ovation as he saluted them after turning his tassels.
"I feel good for my family and for my children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren and if I can be -- and that's what it's all about -- is to try to be an influence to them and be a challenge to them to do their best and do it as soon as they can," Tinsley said.
Read more at KJRH.com.