Veteran receives diploma six decades late -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Veteran receives diploma six decades late

April 27, 2004

Thomasville - Talking about what he endured after the USS Indianapolis sunk isn't what upsets Ken Lanter, it's how others suffered during those 5 days in the water that brings him to tears.

Lanter says, "Some didn't have jackets. Some groups was hit pretty hard by sharks. The majority of people had it real rough, real bad. We were lucky."

Of a crew of 1199, only 316 survived. Today, Lanter is one of 106 still living. And thanks to legislation in 2001, WWII Veterans whose education's were interrupted can now get their high school diplomas.

"It's something that I've wanted, and I've waited all this time," says Lanter. And even though he's happy to receive his diploma, he wishes more men were alive to receive this honor. He says, "I wish there was a lot more that would have come home."

Breaking into tears, all Lanter can say about the honor 61 years later is, "I'm kind of proud." As are the Americans he and others fought for in WWII.

Ken Lanter was only four months shy of graduation when he joined the Navy in 1943. He is 80 years old.

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