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Vietnam vet from Farmington receives high school diploma

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  • Staff Report 

A Vietnam War veteran from Farmington has finally received his high school diploma, thanks to the efforts of State Senator Pam Helming. Rudolph “Rudy” van der Velden was born in the Netherlands and came to the US in 1960. In 1967, he was drafted into the army to fight in the Vietnam War.


His wife, Diana, reached out to Senator Helming’s office for assistance in obtaining his high school diploma. Senator Helming was able to help him receive a diploma from Victor Central School through the state’s Operation Recognition Program, which helps eligible veterans earn their diploma. She expressed her gratitude to Maureen Goodberlet from Victor Central School District and Town of Farmington Supervisor Peter Ingalsbe for their prompt response and expediting the necessary documentation.


The veteran was recognized last fall by Senator Helming as one of her nominees for the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame. Now, at the age of 79, he has finally achieved his lifelong goal of obtaining his high school diploma.

This story serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by our veterans and the importance of honoring their service. It also highlights the value of programs like Operation Recognition, which help veterans attain educational goals that were once out of reach. Senator Helming’s efforts on behalf of Rudolph van der Velden are a testament to the gratitude and respect owed to those who have served our country.