(WFLA) — The saying goes it’s never too late to chase your dreams. Take it from Fred Taylor, a 101-year-old veteran, and eastern Iowa native who finally got his chance to walk at graduation.

Eighty years after he last stepped foot on campus at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Taylor finally crossed the stage, diploma in hand.

He was forced to miss his 1943 graduation when he enlisted to fight in World War II. He left school in February of that year to begin basic training.

In the Army Air Corps Reserve, Taylor flew fighter planes until the fall of 1945.

He later earned his bachelor’s degree in music at Cornell College before going on to get his master’s at Drake University and become a teacher in Iowa and California.

Returning to his humble beginnings, Taylor had some choice words of advice for his fellow graduates.

“Get into the career that you really like and do your best and stick with it. Be kind to other people.”

Now retired, Taylor says he enjoys doing the daily sudoku puzzle and playing Wordle.