PITTSBURGH -- A U.S Navy veteran who enlisted before graduating from West View High School was presented his high school diploma Friday, two days shy of his 95th birthday.
David Russell Tyson would have graduated with the class of 1945 but enlisted in the Navy in February 1944 during his junior year.
Mr. Tyson attended boot camp in Maryland and from there, was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
He served during World War II with Carrier Air Service Unit 24 (CASU-24) and Carrier Air Service Unit 33 (CASU-33), and was stationed in Philadelphia, Rhode Island and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
After serving in the Navy for four years, Tyson received an Honorable Discharge and moved back to Pittsburgh.
In 1952, he married Jean Guiden (West View High School Class of 1952), and they will celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary this year.
In 1958, Mr. and Mrs. Tyson purchased their McCandless Township home where they raised their two children and still live today.
Mr. Tyson worked for the Penn Central Transportation Company and Conrail as a railroad office engineer, retiring after 40 years of service.
Friday, North Hills School District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Mannarino presented Mr. Tyson with an honorary West View High School diploma during a short graduation ceremony at his home.
"I never expected anything like this,” said a teary-eyed and clearly surprised Mr. Tyson, "I’m just a plain Joe, that’s all."
"Life keeps on going and you make the best of it," he added when asked if he ever thought about not receiving his diploma in 1945.
Mr. Tyson will celebrate his 95th birthday this Sunday, Feb. 28.
Congratulations, happy birthday and thank you for your service, Mr. Tyson!