Viet­nam vet re­ceives high school diploma

Viet­nam War vet­eran An­thony Brigg was re­cently awarded his Radnor High School diploma af­ter 46 years.

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Stein lstein@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @lstein­re­porter on Twit­ter

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

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.

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