YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio (WDTN) – In a mix of teenagers wearing caps and gowns ready to take their next step in life is a 92-year-old man ready for his.
Charles Benning was born and raised in Yellow Springs. Months before he would have walked across the stage to get his high school diploma he was drafted into World War II.
“He was going straight into France and Germany and Omaha beach and you name it he was there, fighting in Normandy,” said Benning’s grandson, Sean Jenkins.
Jenkins graduated from Yellow Springs high school 30 years ago, achieving something his grandfather wasn’t able to.
“He has always talked about the only thing he regretted in life was to never receive his high school diploma from yellow Springs high school or to hear his name called,” said Jenkins.
Knowing how important it was to his father Jenkins made it happen.
“The older they get the more you have to start looking at giving them their flowers now. While they’re still around I want to make sure that he knows that we love him. We appreciate him and we honor him,” Jenkins said.
Bennings walked with his grandson by his side, following his 56 other classmates into the schools gymnasium. After waiting more than 70 years, Benning finally got his diploma.
“What I’m thinking about is how this is going to fit in with the other stuff I collected over the years pertaining to the things that I’ve done,” said Benning.
Several family members sat front row to watch Benning get his diploma. However, his wife of more than 60 years wasn’t. She recently broke a hip and is recovering.
Also in the graduating class of 2015 was Benning’s great niece, Evelyn Greene.