Virgil Malone presented 1965 high school diploma, a milestone he missed while serving in Vietnam

Posted December 23, 2019 at 12:42 pm

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Basketball fans at Clinton County High School games have come to recognize Virgil Malone as a Bulldog “super fan” who attends most every home game and many away contests as well.

What many local fans didn’t know, however, is that Malone is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, having served four years fighting in the conflict as a medic.

Malone left Clinton County High School as a sophomore in 1962 to join the U.S. Army and while he was in combat in Vietnam, the rest of his high school classmates finished school and graduated in 1965.

Malone returned home to Clinton County and continues to work on his farm in the Piney Woods community, coming to Albany almost daily, but especially planning the trip into town to enjoy the home basketball games when the Bulldogs take the floor.

On Tuesday night, at halftime of the Clinton County vs Cumberland County basketball game, Malone was honored at center court in the presence of Clinton County Schools Superintendent Tim Parson, CCHS Principal Stacey Evans, a host of local VFW members and several family members as well, when he was presented with his high school diploma – a graduate of the Class of 1965.

A recent program adopted by the Kentucky Department of Veteran’s Affairs allows veterans who left high school to enroll in the military to receive an official high school diploma.

Malone earned the national service medal, Vietnam service medal with four bronze service stars, Republic of Vietnam campaign medal, two bronze star medals with the “V” device, combat medical badge, army commendation medal, and the Purple Heart.

Malone is among those local veterans who are honored with a banner in the Clinton County Tourism Commission’s Hometown Heroes project.

Tuesday night’s ceremony is shown in the surrounding photos, as well as a look at the diploma that he received from Dr. Tim Parson Tuesday night.

In the photo below, Clinton County News photographer Brett Gibson captured this memorable image of Malone saluting the U.S. Flag as the Clinton County High School JROTC Bulldog Battalion presented the colors, while the CCHS Band played the national anthem prior to the start of Tuesday’s game.


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