Russell Lee Fitzgerald of Patriot stands to be recognized Thursday at the city of Madison Veterans Day program. Fitzgerald did not finish high school with his classmates in Patriot because he enlisted in the military to fight in World War II. Fitzgerald was applauded by fellow veterans and community members for his service and he was awarded his high school diploma from the Switzerland County School Corporation.
The diploma can now take its place alongside Fitzgerald's Purple Heart, which he earned while serving as a heavy machine gunner in France; his European-African-Middle Eastern ribbon with three battle stars; his combat infantryman badge; and his good conduct ribbon. Veterans Day, Nov. 11, is Sunday. It will be observed as a national, state and local holiday Monday, Nov. 12. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie)