It's been over six decades since Ocie Martin went to Pickton High School. Ocie never got to graduate. In 1942, he dropped out of school to join the army and defend his country in World War Two. Saturday night, he finally got his walk across the stage.
The Texas Legislature passed a law in 2001 making World War Two veterans like Ocie who didn't get to graduate eligible to finally receive their diplomas. Ocie's only regret was, "that it wasn't much earlier, that would have benefitted us when we were younger."
Ocie's family was understandably proud. His stepson Augustin Rubio said, "I guess that was the only part he was missing in his life. I think this is going to complete it and give him everything that he's lived for and worked for."
Margaret Martin, Ocie's wife, said, "I feel so happy for this. My husband deserves this after fighting the wars so we Americans could be free."
Characteristically humble, when Ocie learned he could recieve his diploma, he didn't think about graduation. Mrs. Martin said, "He got home, he said they're gonna mail it to me. I said there's no such thing as mailing, you get on that phone and call her. You're gonna graduate with the class of 2002. You deserve that."