"I'm just so honored, so very honored to be here today," he said as he got ready to walk onto the football field of Brighton High School with the rest of the class of 2010.
It is safe to say that Ayala was likely the only graduate of the day with 13 grandkids and 18 great grandkids.
When his name was finally read, it is also safe to say that Ayala was the only member of the class to receive a standing ovation from the entire crowd.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to present to you Mr. Rueben Ayala, 2010 graduate of Brighton High School," the speaker said.
Ayala slowly walked to the front grinning as wide as is humanly possible. His daughter, Susan Meador, wiped away a few tears.
"I really think this is a dream come true to him, something that he waited his entire life for," Meador said.
Ayala graduated with the help of Operation Recognition - Veterans Diploma Project, which helps veterans whose education was interrupted by the war service. Link