Local Korean War veteran gets diploma, recognition after "forgot - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local Korean War veteran gets diploma, recognition after "forgotten war"

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An 83-year-old Kentuckian and Korean War veteran is finally getting recognition that is long overdue, partly thanks to a friendship forged with two women who are decades younger.

"They call the Korean War the forgotten war," said veteran Wayne Covault. "When I come home, it was like I went to work in the morning and came home that night...nobody celebrated. My own family didn't even celebrate me coming home. It was something."

Decades after Covault quit high school as a 17-year-old junior to join the U.S. Army, he's receiving recognition -- and something else he should have gotten about 65 years ago: his high school diploma.

"I just appreciate it so much," Covault said.

It's partly due to a Kentucky law passed in 2004. It allows Korean War veterans who left school to serve in the military to receive their diplomas from any high school in the state they choose.

And two John Hardin High School graduates also played a role in making it happen. For their 10-year reunion, they wanted to give something back to the man who served our country, and who had become their friend.

"He came to all our football games, still follows all our sports and he truly is a bulldog," said Tessa Hendrix. "Wayne, I just want to say I love you, congratulations and thank you for your service."

"These girls are something else," Covault said. "I just love them and thank you so much."

"I just joined the service and served my country, and I consider myself a big-time patriot," Covault said.

"I chose John Hardin because of these girls that done this today," he added. "I appreciate it because this is a great school."

At least 15 other Korean War veterans in Kentucky have received their high school diplomas since this law passed.

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