100-Year-Old Veteran Awarded High School Diploma

John Cyrulik dropped out of high school in the 1930s to care for his ailing father and support his family.

He might move a little slower than your average student about to get his high school diploma, but John Cyrulik is not your average graduate.

The 100-year-old veteran quit Middletown High School back in the 1930s so he could care for his ailing father and support his family.

"My father died and I was the oldest one home and the so I had to support them,” Cyrulik explained.

In 1941, he registered for selective service. Two days later the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and Cyrulik went off to war. He never got his high school diploma.

Now, 82 years later as he turns 100, city leaders in Middletown said it was about time he was recognized for his work at Middletown High School and his brave service to the country.

Cyrulik was given the diploma during a celebration Saturday. The Board of Education voted to ratify it at a meeting Tuesday, making Cyrulik an official graduate of Middletown High School.

As a special gift, leaders got a replica of the 1936 Middletown High School diploma with Cyrulik’s name on it.

The mayor also declared Monday John Cyrulik Day, a fitting tribute for one of Connecticut’s last surviving World War II veterans.

Contact Us