He would have graduated from Gloversville High School nearly eight decades ago, but like thousands of young men of his time, Clement Steenburg left school early to serve his country instead.
Mr. Steenburg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served with honor and bravery in campaigns fought in the Pacific theater during World War II. Dressed in a cap and gown, the 97-year-old veteran was awarded an honorary high school diploma from the Gloversville Enlarged School District during the October Board of Education meeting.
Mr. Steenburg along with his fellow Marines took part in numerous military operations in the Pacific region, including the turning point battle for Guadalcanal in the southern Solomon Islands – a grueling conflict fought by Allied forces and the Japanese troops between August 1942 and February 1943. Mr. Steenburg’s platoon was awarded four bronze stars for their heroism and sacrifice throughout the war.
When presenting his diploma, the Board of Education publicly recognized and thanked Mr. Steenburg for his distinguished service during the Second World War.
Honorably discharged veterans who left high school prior to graduation to serve in World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War, are eligible to receive their high school diplomas through New York’s Operation Recognition program, enacted in 2014.
For more information, visit the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs website.