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3 Valley veterans set to receive diplomas through ‘Operation Recognition’ on Tuesday

Courtesy: Operation Recognition

Six veterans of foreign wars who didn't graduate from high school will receive their diplomas -- one posthumously -- Tuesday under a Riverside County program that provides graduate certificates to former airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines who gave up school to serve their country.

The county Office of Education will conduct its 13th ``Operation Recognition'' program for the benefit of veterans of World War II and the Vietnam War during a ceremony this afternoon at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center.

The family of Vallie Lee Engelauf, a Jurupa Valley businessman who served in the U.S. Navy during WW II, will be presented with a diploma in his honor, according to officials.

Engelauf died in May 2000, and his family decided it was past time to procure the one thing he'd always missed receiving, officials said.

Engelauf's wartime experience included witnessing Marines hoisting the colors after defeating the Japanese during the battle for Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945 -- an epochal moment memorialized in numerous films and documentaries.

According to the Office of Education, Engelauf, his older brother, George, and father, William, all have their names inscribed at Veterans Memorial Park in Jurupa Valley in recognition of their collective military service.

Other graduates slated to receive diplomas this afternoon are George Flowers of Palm Springs, who served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam; Raul Garcia of Indio, who also served in the Army during Vietnam; John Hudson of Indio, who served in the Coast Guard during WW II; Richard Granados of Menifee, who served in the Army during Vietnam; and fellow Vietnam vet Franklin Stevens of Riverside, who served in the Navy.

Video released by Operation Recognition in November 2018

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