Back Row, Left to Right: San Bernardino County Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr., County Superintendent Ted Alejandre, San Bernardino County Board of Education Vice President Laura A. Mancha, Interim Director of San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs Victor Tordesillas. Front Row, Left to Right: Daniel Carrillo (U.S. Army/Air Force, Korean War), Pete M. Molina (U.S. Army, WWII), Kareem E. Gates (U.S. Air Force, Vietnam War), Michelle Baca with diploma on behalf of her father Samuel Ramirez Baca (U.S. Army, Korean War).

Eligible veterans of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, whose education was interrupted for military service, can now apply to receive their high school diploma through Oct. 2, 2023. Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project is offered in partnership between San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and Veterans Affairs, allowing veterans the opportunity to be presented with their diplomas.

Thousands of young men and women across this country left high school and the comforts of home to serve gallantly in the armed forces. After the wars ended, many of these veterans were not able to finish high school for various reasons but led productive lives and helped build our communities.  

The California Education Code authorizes the granting of retroactive high school diplomas to eligible veterans, as well as those who were interned by federal order during World War II.  

“It is an honor to bestow diplomas to these deserving veterans,” said Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre. “Our deepest appreciation goes to all those recognized for your sacrifice and valor. This is a small gesture of our society’s gratitude for the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.” 

Since the program’s inception, nearly 300 diplomas have been presented to veterans who did not complete their high school education due to military service. 

“We are proud to have the Board of Supervisors support for veterans and to help contribute to this amazing opportunity for the veterans of San Bernardino County,” said San Bernardino County’s Interim Director of Veterans Affairs Victor Tordesillas. 

To be considered to receive a diploma through the Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project, veterans must have been enrolled in high school prior to their military service or internment in a World War II relocation camp, be a current San Bernardino County resident and must have been honorably discharged. Surviving family members of those who meet these requirements are also encouraged to apply for posthumous recognition.  

To obtain an application, visit or call (909) 386-2947. The deadline to submit your application is Oct. 2, 2023. 

The 15th Annual Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project ceremony will be held Nov. 15 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the Dorothy Inghram Learning Center, 670 E. Carnegie Drive in San Bernardino.  

For more information, visit

Additional County Update News – September 15, 2023

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