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Vietnam vet ‘graduates’ – 42 years after his class

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Richard Bowen of Simpsonville receives diploma from school board

By Lisa King

After 42 years, Richard Bowen finally achieved a goal he has longed for all his life. Bowen, a resident of Simpsonville, was honored Thursday night by the Shelby County School Board when he was presented with his high school diploma that he would have earned if war had not interfered with his plans. “I am very happy now,” he said, with a big smile. The year was 1969, and the United States was heavily involved in the Vietnam War. It was also a big year for Shelby County native Richard Bowen, 18 years old and a senior at Shelby County High School.


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