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95-year-old graduate picks up his cap and gown

World War II interrupted his graduation plans. Finally, they are coming true for the Hillsborough High alumni.

TAMPA, Fla. — Picking up your graduation cap and gown is not an unusual circumstance this time of year.

But if you're picking up your diploma 76 years after you graduated high school ... well, that's unusual.

Joe Perricone was to walk across the stage of Hillsborough High School in 1942, but he was drafted before he could get his diploma.

He said he tried to get a deferment, but "My draft board said, 'You go serve your country and be a big boy.'"

His diploma was mailed to him, so he never got to walk across the stage.

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That will change Saturday when he will walk with the Class of 2019.

He picked up his cap and gown Wednesday. 

"I'm not sorry I went in," Perricone said. "I think it was real hard to find one guy who didn't want to be there."

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