99-year-old WWII vet to walk across stage for commencement

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WSVN) — A 99-year-old World War II veteran had her wish granted and will walk across the stage years after graduating from college.

According to the Winston-Salem State University, PFC Elizabeth Barker Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943, and became a member of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the only all-black, all-female battalion overseas during World War II.

After the war, Johnson made history again and became the first woman to enroll at the then-called Winston-Salem Teachers College on the GI Bill. She went on to graduate with a degree in education in August 1949.

However, Johnson started teaching shortly after graduation and didn’t get the opportunity to walk across the stage for commencement.

Now, nearly 70 years later, Johnson’s wish to attend commencement is coming true.

On May 2, while at a party for her 99th birthday, Johnson’s alma mater surprised her with a red cap and gown and an invitation to attend the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2019.

“I’m going to think I’m dreaming,” Johnson said.

Johnson will attend her graduation ceremony on May 10.

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