Collinsville, Illinois – September 20, 2021 – At their September 2021 regular monthly meeting, the Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 Board of Education presented a 1968 Collinsville High School Service Member Diploma to John Paul Fitzpatrick.
Mr. Fitzpatrick was attending Collinsville High School when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in October of 1967. He qualifies for a Service Member Diploma in accordance with CUSD Board Policy 6:300 Graduation Requirements:
“The District will award a diploma to a service member who was killed in action while performing active military duty with the U.S.Armed Forces or an honorably discharged veteran of World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam Conflict, provided that he or she (1) resided within an area currently within the District at the time he or she left high school, (2) left high school before graduating in order to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, and (3) has not received a high school diploma.”
Mr. Fitzpatrick was a senior at Collinsville High School when he went with a friend to the Army Induction Center in St. Louis, Missouri, to enlist in the United States Army in October 1967. He was assigned to Basic Tank Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was next sent to Fort Pope, Louisiana, for infantry training and then to Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Thinking he would be heading to Vietnam, Mr. Fitzpatrick instead was ordered to Daley Barracks in Bad Kissingen, Germany, as a member of a Tank Unit. He re-enlisted in the U.S. Army and was later stationed stateside working on military missile systems, radar control systems and computers. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after serving our country in Europe and the United States.
Mr. Fitzpatrick obtained his Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He worked as a civilian with various Civil Engineering firms in the metropolitan St. Louis area. During his civilian career, he assisted with many military missions in 37 different countries.
Officially retired, Mr. Fitzpatrick now makes sure children are transported safely to and from school each day as a school bus driver in a local community.
Collinsville High School Principal Daniel Toberman said, “Tonight we are proud to award a Collinsville High School diploma to Mr. Fitzpatrick. As we say, ‘Once a Kahok, Always a Kahok!’”