Blount Co. WWII and Korean War veteran receives honorary high sc

Blount Co. WWII and Korean War veteran receives honorary high school diploma

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Allison received his honorary high school diploma on Monday. Allison received his honorary high school diploma on Monday.
Allison was drafted into the military towards the end of World War II. Allison was drafted into the military towards the end of World War II.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - You've probably heard the phrase 'Never say never' and that was certainly the case Monday for a Maryville World War II and Korean War veteran. On Monday he received his honorary diploma becoming a high school graduate.

Winefred "Dude" Allison is now officially a Maryville High School graduate, he had to leave school in 1945 when he began his military career spending nearly 18 months overseas.

Blount County Veterans Affairs Office helped make this possible and it was a total surprise to Allison who describes himself as a good old country boy that went to a city school.

All day Monday, Dude Allison received phone calls wishing him congratulations. "Brings back a lot of young memories because I never thought I would get it," he said.

Allison was drafted into the military towards the end of World War II, "I only went to the first year of high school and then Uncle Sam decided he wanted me."

That's when Allison says he started training at Fort McClellan in Alabama. After one year he was sent overseas for his first job as a military police officer on the beaches of Korea during the Korean War.

"They were poor. They were bad to steal, they'd steal anything they could get their hands on. And it was our job to get them and I had a wooden jail and they could have broken out of there anytime they wanted to. In fact, I had one fella that did break out one night and disappear," said Allison.

For 18-months Allison says he wrote to his sweetheart Wilma, now his wife of 65-years. While he had to leave home, Allison says this job was simply an honor, "I was glad to do it. I was glad to be able to do it and to tell you the truth I enjoyed it."

Though graduation has been 70-years in the making, this graduate hasn't thought about where to hang his long awaited diploma.

"I have to leave that to my wife," he said.

It's important to mention, Mr. Allison's brother also served in the military during World War II who was a pilot.

Thanks to legislation drafted in 2010, veterans in Tennessee who weren't able to graduate because of their time serving during World War I, World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War can be issued an honorary high school diploma.

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