|MOH recipient Robert Dale Maxwell|
Medal of Honor recipient and World War II hero, Robert Dale Maxwell has just now received his high school diploma at 90 years old.
He graduates with the class of 2011 at Bend (OR) Senior High School.
After seventh grade, Maxwell was taken out of school to work on his family’s farm in Kansas, during the Great Depression.
“It was just accepted in those days, when a boy was old enough to do a man’s work, that’s what he did,” Maxwell said.
After his service he went on to receive his GED and even taught at Bend High School in the 1950’s.
Maxwell joined the Army in 1942, and by September 7, 1944 was serving as a technician fifth grade in the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. On that day, near Besançon in eastern France, Maxwell smothered the blast of an enemy hand grenade with his body to protect those around him. He survived his wounds and seven months later, on April 6, 1945, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.
He is Oregon’s only Medal of Honor recipient.
“We’re the ones honored, yet because of his humility, he feels honored,” said Principal H.D. Wedell.
“In some ways, I feel like it’s a diploma that I haven’t earned,” Maxwell said. “But, then I look back over the 73 years behind me, and I guess I have accumulated enough knowledge and skills to say that I’ve learned.”
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