In the past several months, World War II vets across the state who dropped out of high school to serve their country finally received their high school diplomas. Thats thanks to legislation approved during the 2001 legislative session. However because of the way the law was written, many veterans may have been ineligible for the diplomas.
The original legislation required an individual to have served a minimum of 18 consecutive months on active duty or to have been discharged with a service-connected disability between September 16, 1940 and December 31, 1946. But we later learned that some very brave Oklahoma veterans who left school to serve their country in WWII didnt meet that requirement, explained Senator Johnnie Crutchfield, D-Ardmore.
Thats why Senator Crutchfield has filed Senate Bill 900, which simply removes language requiring a minimum 18 consecutive months services.
I think the original legislation was one of the most patriotic bills weve ever had the privilege to pass. Anyone who has attended one of these graduation ceremonies can tell you it is one of the most emotional and meaningful events theyve ever witnessed. These veterans sacrificed so much for their country, and we want to make sure none of them are left out because of a technicality. Were simply going to make a good law even better, said Senator Crutchfield.
The bill will be considered after the 2002 legislative session officially convenes on February 4th.