Local veteran gets GED at age 82 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Local veteran gets GED at age 82

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April 25, 2008

Albany--This story isn't about a crime or a car crash.

It's not about an elected official letting down his constituents, or a teacher betraying a student's trust.

It's about one simple man with an amazing story. A man who ended his formal education to serve his country.

His name is Arthur Jones.

It's been more than 65 years since Arthur L. Jones attended school full time.

He left high school to serve in the Navy and Army in World War Two. But tonight, at age 82, Arthur graduated. He earned his General Education Diploma from Albany Technical college.

Arthur's wife of eleven years was supposed to walk across the stage with him, but she died before she could realize her dream.

"She wanted to become a nurse, but she couldn't become a nurse until she got her GED, so I tried to encourage her to go and take her GED, but she tried several times but her job wouldn't give her the time off." Said Jones

To try to encourage her to continue her education, Arthur started taking classes at Albany Tech.

"So I went and I enrolled, and I told her how it was and I encouraged her to go too. You can go, tell them what you're doing. So she decided to go."

The couple took classes together until July 2006 when Ida died. "she died, she wasn't sick she had a brain aneurysm, and she wasn't able to finish, so she died in July of 2006 and I went back to school around September."

It was hard to continue taking classes without his wife, but Arthur knew he had to continue. If not for him, for her.

"I was left to go ahead and do it by myself it was a rough struggle trying to do it by myself because she is my helper, but she knew more about math than I did."

Arthur now uses his retirement money to build computers as a hobby. He donates them local organizations and anyone who can't afford a computer of their own.

On his graduation night Arthur got a standing ovation from his classmates and the crowd.

"With the lord's help I'm able to do what I can do, if it wasn't for God's help, and the prayers of the church family I wouldn't have been able to do it." Arthor said, with tears in his eyes.

The veteran says his friends and family were his greatest inspiration.

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