A Dyess Air Force veteran received a special gift on Tuesday.

Nearly 54 years later, a dream of his came true.

Johnston Elementary held a special assembly to honor those who have fought for our country.

But, Abilene veteran Robert Terry, 72, took the spotlight.

"Abilene Senior High School...having completed and in a satisfactory manor," said Terry as he read off his diploma he finally received, "I was so excited, I waited 54 years to get it and had it on my bucketlist."

Robert, an Atlanta, Georgia native, joined the military when he was 17-years-old.

"I was stationed three years at Dyess. Went to Vietnam for one year. I had to got to school when I was at Dyess," said Terry.

After his return, two years later, Terry completed his G.E.D. classes on base but didn't receive a diploma from an accredited school.

"It is not good to drop out of school. I was in a have-to-situation where I had to help out my family," said Terry.

His mom allowed him to join the Air Force on one condition. Terry had to get his high school diploma.

"My mom is excited. I know she is looking down at me today and I have my diploma to show her," said Terry.

He met his wite Linda at base, has been married for 51 years and has two daughters. His next goal is possibly a Bachelor's degree.

"Something biblical I'm sure," said Terry.