Veterans receive honorary MCS diplomas

By Joe Moskowitz
Saturday, June 28 was Graduation day at Margaretville Central School was June 28. It was a day when those 17-, 18-, and 19-year olds go from being a kid in school to embarking on his or her next step in education, start a career, or possibly join one of the armed forces.
Along with the Class of 2014, there were three other MCS degree candidates who were somewhat older. Their high-school careers had been interrupted by military service while their country was at war.
WELL EARNED — Three area men, from left, Barry Lewis, Denny Bruno and Milton Laub, received honorary diplomas as Margaretville’s graduation on June 28 as part of “Operation Recognition,” which spotlights veterans whose education was interrupted by service to their country. — Photo by Joe MoskowitzWELL EARNED — Three area men, from left, Barry Lewis, Denny Bruno and Milton Laub, received honorary diplomas as Margaretville’s graduation on June 28 as part of “Operation Recognition,” which spotlights veterans whose education was interrupted by service to their country. — Photo by Joe Moskowitz

Korean War veteran Denny Bruno, 82, was the youngest of the “other” three to receive a diploma. His son, Jeff Bruno, said that his dad was very reluctant to step forward now after so long because didn’t want all of the attention. But, with granddaughter, Cora Bruno, a member of the MCS Class of 2015 at his side to provide moral support, he didn’t need any help physically. Denny, who had just finished rewiring a truck for the Town of Hardenburgh, walked up to the podium to receive his well-deserved honor. When he left the podium, he had his diploma in one hand and his arm on the shoulder of Louis Barrington who, at 92 years old, didn’t mind a little bit of help.  

WW II service
Barrington Lewis joined the army in 1943, right in the middle of World War II. He didn’t leave the service when the war ended. He remained in Germany to help establish a democracy and to be there just in case the Cold War with the Soviet Union turned into a hot one Those many years ago he entered the service in Manhattan and now lives in the MCS District.
Milton Laub, now 87 years old, entered the service in World War II just in time to be shipped to Guam in preparation for an invasion of Japan, but the war came to an end in a flash when atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Laub remained in Japan to help rebuild that country. While in the service he earned a G.E.D. so he did have a high-school diploma, but Milton said being selected for an MCS diploma was a wonderful honor.

Holcherr helps out
Laub is married to MCS School Board member Agnes Laub, but it was fellow BOE member Kurt Holcherr who was responsible for him receiving a diploma.
Holcherr is also commander of the Delaware County American Legion and said he thought “Operation Recognition” was something MCS should be involved in. Acting as a Legionnaire, not as a board member, Holscher asked MCS Superintendent Tony Albanese for permission, which was granted.
“Operation Recognition” is for veterans who under certain circumstances can be awarded honorary high-school diplomas. They must have been New York residents at the time they entered service. It must have been for service during World War II, the Korean War, or Vietnam. And, they must have left high school and directly joined one of the armed forces.
Holcherr said he feels it is important for today’s kids to understand some of the things people had to sacrifice so that the young men and women can have what they have today.