Vietnam vet receives high school diploma
Vietnam War veteran Anthony Brigg was recently awarded his Radnor High School diploma after 46 years.
RADNOR >> Some 46 years after he dropped out of Radnor High School to serve in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Anthony Brigg was awarded his diploma.
The ceremony took place, fittingly, on Veterans Day at an assembly before the high school student body.
Brigg, 63, an assistant football coach at the high school who is retired from Radnor Township, where he worked in the public works department and is self-employed as a landscaper, was pleased to receive his diploma.
Brigg, of Garrett Hill, dropped out and joined the Army after 10th grade. He volunteered to go to Vietnam twice before he was sent overseas and served as a radio operator for the 1st Calvary Division for 13 months in 1972 and 1973.
“Before I left I had a GED and they told me that I needed to go to Main Line Night School,” he said, about getting his diploma back in the 1970s. “I said, ‘That’s not going to happen. I’m going to Vietnam.’” Brigg said that he feels good about belatedly getting his diploma.
“Now I don’t have to say I went to Radnor but was not a graduate of Radnor,” said Brigg, who is divorced and has seven children and 10 grandchildren. “I finally fit in.”
“In the summer of 1970, the Vietnam War was in
full swing,” said Principal Dan Bechtold. “Mr. Brigg made the decision to serve his country.”
Brigg, who played football in high school, has “been a fixture of local football fields, and has been an assistant coach for RHS for the last 10 years.”
Six years ago, the state Legislature passed a law to allow school districts
to confer diplomas on veterans who served honorably. A GED is not needed. Brigg is the first to graduate this way from Radnor High, but others are being sought.
School board member Charles Madden said that he’s known Brigg for a long time.
“This is the most important event I’ve ever been involved in,” he said. Brigg has served as a “role model” for the students, said Madden.
Also at the assembly, Air Force Sgt. Christian Craig,
who graduated from Radnor in 1999, presented a flag to the Class of 2017 in appreciation of its support of the U.S. military. Members of the class have written cards and letters to veterans and active duty troops and also sent them care packages.
“Whoever purchased the Tastykakes, they may not have been shared,” he joked. The flag was carried aboard a B-52 bomber in the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squad, which wiped out an ISIS convey that was “on its way to
take out women and children,” said Craig. The attack occurred on June 7, “somewhere in the Middle East,” he said.
In addition, the Radnor High Veterans Day ceremony included a reading of all the names of those veterans on the Radnor Wall of Honor, residents who had given their lives to defend America. The program included a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by student Abrah Katzman and taps played by student David Macpherson.
Radnor guard presents the colors and Radnor High School student David Mcpherson plays taps.
Radnor Township School Board Member Charles Madden, Anthony Brigg and RHS principal Dan Bechtold
Sgt. Christian H. Craig, Radnor High School Class of 1999, presents Senior Class President Anna Duffy with a flag in recognition of the class’s contributions to servicemen and women over the past four years.