WWII vet Herman Zeitchik receives long-awaited Linden High School diploma

Herman Zeitchik was able to walk with fellow graduates of Linden High School Friday, finally receiving his diploma. (6/20/14)

LINDEN - A World War II vet reached a milestone today- not on a battlefield, but on a high school football field.

Herman Zeitchik was able to walk with fellow graduates of Linden High School Friday, finally receiving his diploma. "Feels wonderful," he says. "Now I can go to college."

Zeitchik missed graduation because he was sent off to serve overseas before finishing his senior year.

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As a member of the Fourth Infantry, he was there at Utah Beach on D-Day, and was at the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.

The now 90-year-old who lives in Maryland just happened to meet members of the Linden High School Band when they were performing in Washington, D.C. at the National Memorial Day Parade.  

A school staffer learned the veteran's story and thought he should be honored after 70 years. 

The district still graduated Zeitchik, according to his daughter, Carol Bodner. "It said 'blanket credit,'" she says. "In those years that's what they did. He had an education in Europe is what happened."

After the Army, Zeitchik worked in the retail liquor business. He says he always hustled, and was a success even without that diploma hanging on his wall.

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