A Hillsboro man who died during the Korean War but whose remains were never recovered will be posthumously awarded a diploma later this year from Hillsboro High School.
The family of Neil R. Scott requested through the Highland County Veterans Service Commission that the Hillsboro City Schools award the diploma, and the school board voted unanimously Wednesday to honor the request.
According to information provided to the school by Kevin Barreras, vice president of the Highland County Veterans Service Commission, Scott was a student at Hillsboro High School and entered the U.S. Army prior to graduation.
“He became a medic in the 21st Infantry Regiment and was deployed to Korea when hostilities broke out,” a letter from the Veterans Commission says. “His unit was among the first American troops to engage in combat in Korea in July of 1950. The initial battle did not go well and Neil was among 750 who were captured by the North Koreans. They were marched north to an area near the Chinese border. He survived until Jan. 31, 1951 when survivors of the captivity state he succumbed to the extremely harsh conditions and was buried there. His remains have never been recovered.
“His family has lived in Highland County for more than 70 years. They still get letters from the government keeping them current on efforts to recover Neil’s remains. Your favorable consideration of this request would mean a lot to the family and the veterans of Highland County.”
The application for the diploma was filed by Montey Zane Scott, Neil’s brother.
According to Ohio Administrative Code, a high school diploma may be awarded to any living World War II, Korean Conflict, or Vietnam Conflict veteran, or posthumously to a living relative, who left a public or nonpublic school located in any state prior to graduation in order to serve in the armed forces of the United States, or who left a public or nonpublic school located in any state prior to graduation due to family circumstances and subsequently entered the armed forces of the United States, and meets all of the following criteria:
• The veteran is a current resident of Ohio, or was previously enrolled in any high school in the state, or was a resident of Ohio at the time of death.
• The veteran served at any time during the period of Sept. 1, 1940 to Dec. 31, 1946; or June 27, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955; or Aug. 5, 1964 (Feb. 28, 1961 for veterans who served “in country” before Aug. 5, 1964) to May 7, 1975 in any branch of the U.S. armed forces.
• The veteran received an honorable discharge from the armed forces of the United States as verified by a certified copy of their discharge or of other proof of service.
The school board said the diploma will be awarded during a Veterans Day program the school puts on each November.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.