Vietnam veteran finally graduates with high school diploma

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — 78-year-old U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Floyd Nimrod Covey received his high school diploma during a small ceremony at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) on July 8.

Covey, wearing a cap and gown, finally received his high school diploma from Dr. Sara Stankus, Superintendent and Dr. Deb Harrison, Assistant Superintendent of Upshur County Schools. Covey’s brother, fellow Veterans and employees of the Martinsburg VAMC were in attendance to cheer him on and lend support.

 Covey was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War before he had a chance to graduate. While at the medical center, he expressed to a staff member that his mother was disappointed that he never finished high school. The staff member took action and with the help of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance they were able to fulfill that wish—for Covey and his mother.

“During a time in his life while others were graduating, he was unable to,” said Stankus, “It is our honor to award his well-deserved diploma.”

The Upshur County Board of Education called and invited him to attend and “walk” in their high school graduation ceremony on May 24 at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, unfortunately, he had a medical concern that prevented him from attending. The medical center decided to throw him a graduation party and the Upshur County Board of Education came to Martinsburg to deliver the diploma. One of the dietitians from Nutrition and Food Service even made him a special graduation cake. Medical Center Director, Timothy J. Cooke, was also there with leadership to help support Covey during this special day.

“This day really proves that no act is too small to help make a difference in our Veterans’ lives,” said Cooke. “I am glad we were all able to come together to make this day special for Mr. Covey.”

 Even though the well-deserved spotlight was on Covey, he kept thinking of his mother, telling the small crowd: “This would mean everything to my Mom.” 

The Martinsburg VA Medical Center is a Joint Commission accredited, complexity level 1C facility serving over 72,000 Veterans across the four states of West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Located in Martinsburg, West Virginia, the medical center operates seven Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs). The clinics are VA-staffed and are located in Cumberland, Hagerstown and Fort Detrick, Maryland, Petersburg and Franklin, West Virginia and Harrisonburg and Stephens City, Virginia. The Martinsburg VA Medical Center also supports the Vet Center in Martinsburg and the Culpeper and Winchester national cemeteries in Virginia.



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