In honor of Memorial Day, today’s Lighter Side will honor a World War II veteran who not only served our country but also recently graduated from college at the age of 90.
Walter Bunker proves you’re never too old to learn something new.
According to WLWT News out of Cincinnati (Ohio), 90-year-old Bunker was among the 1,100 students graduating from Xavier University earlier this month. Bunker, a World War II veteran, attended a variety of colleges after the war as a young man.
“It took me 70 years. I realized back in 1955, if I graduated, I'd have to leave home and get a job," Bunker told reporters.
Xavier University worked with Bunker, sending a professor to Bunker’s home for independent study the complete his last two credits. He received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree and graduated cum laude.
Bunker was escorted by Iraq War veteran Ryan Hoefer, who also received his bachelor's degree.
So what’s next for Bunker?
“Now I think I’ll have to go out and start looking for a job,” Bunker joked. “I thought perhaps I might be a cowboy. I always wanted to do that, to get on my cayuse (horse) with a gal and ride off into the sunset.”
Xavier University reports that Bunker’s odyssey began in 1941 when he attended the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a scholarship in violin. But with World War II escalating, Bunker left school and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp. He became a navigator and an office, flying missions overseas.
He received an honorary medical discharge in 1944 and resumed his college career. Over the next decades, he attended a variety of colleges and slowly gained college credits while working for his uncle’s real estate agency. Bunker was diagnosed with lunch cancer in October 2013 but didn’t let cancer or radiation treatments slow him down.