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KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KSDK) – Robert Loyd was only 16 when he lied about his age to serve his country during World War II. It's a decision that the now 85-year-old says he doesn't regret.

"I just felt like I wanted to be in," he said. "And the other guys were going in, so I had to do it."

Because of the war, he never got his high diploma… until now.

A worker at St. Agnes in Kirkwood called the Board of Education and gave Loyd the opportunity to earn his diploma. It was presented to him on Saturday.

"I think it's a validation of all the things he's done," his son, Bob Loyd III, said.

Robert Loyd was a member of the Navy, and was at Iwo Jima the day they famously put up the flag. When his military career ended, he spent 33 years with the Bi-State Transit Agency, before embarking on a multi-state road trip with his wife in an RV.

He was supposed to graduate from a school in Ironton, Mo.

Even though neither he nor his wife finished high school, they made sure all three of their children did… and went on to college.

"They wanted us to be educated because they didn't have an education," Bob Loyd said.

Robert Loyd says a high school diploma wasn't something he often thought about, but he adds that receiving his was an amazing moment.

"My mind was racing 90 miles per hour," he said. "I just wish my wife were here to see this."

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