MESQUITE, Tex. (NBC NEWS) -- It was a long time coming, but an 88-year-old World War II Texas veteran who joined the Marines before graduating high school finally got his diploma this week.
It was a standing ovation for Jack "Cotton" Futrell, who survived the front lines of world war II, now getting his high school diploma.
A long time, as in 70 years after he was supposed to graduate.
He was a standout on the Mesquite High School football team, but after his junior year, went into the Marines.
So while his peers finished high school, Jack was serving as a flame-thrower operator in the Battle of Okinawa.
"That was the worst part of it, that i had to be out there by myself," he said.
Click the video to watch the emotional and touching moment.