The draft got in the way of this veteran's graduation from CSU, but it's better late than never

Posted at 12:53 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 13:12:03-04

Cleveland State University's 2017 Commencement ceremony was a long time coming for one graduate.

In 1956, Richard Veres graduated from what was then Fenn College with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. But Uncle Sam had other plans, and he was drafted into the military.

"Uncle Sam decided it was more important for me to be in basic training during commencement exercises in 1956," Veres says in a CSU-produced video. "I wound up on a train going to Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri." 

The first in his family to graduate from college, Veres was looking forward to celebrating commencement.

"It was a big deal," Veres recalls. "My family was really looking forward to having the rest of the gang at the commencement exercises. Well, the gods had different plans, and that's the way it turned out."

Veres' daughter Melissa Mann contacted CSU to share her father's story.

Commencement exercises are Saturday, May 13. The veteran's extended family will be in attendance.

The life and times of Richard Veres, Class of 1956 (and 2017):

  • Mr. Veres lives in Novelty, Ohio. He’s been in the same house for over 50 years.
  • He spent his career (46 years) at Reliance Electric and traveled all over the world for them.
  • He has three children and three grandchildren. 
  • He was married to his wife Donna for 59 years. She passed away in 2016.

MORE: Watch the full interview with Mr. Veres! 

RELATED: Student set to graduate from Kent State University at just 19 years old