- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

HAMILTON, Ind. (AP) - Luke Jordan’s students cheered his name as he walked out of the Hamilton Community School gymnasium.

Friday was Jordan’s last day teaching before he is deployed to the Middle East for six months with the 122nd Air Guard Unit. The school held an assembly to send him off.

“This is an important day,” Principal Tim Holcomb said.

Jordan teaches chemistry, physics and environmental science. He has also coached several sports in the past but is not coaching this year, since he knew he would need to leave, Holcomb told The Star in Auburn (http://bit.ly/1pLDNPB ).

This will be Jordan’s third tour of duty overseas, one of which was with the Army. He said this tour would be harder than his previous two because of the relationships he’s built at the school.

“It’s hard to look at every one of the kids and say goodbye,” Jordan said.

Students took the time to shake his hand and thank him as they left school to board buses. Jordan thanked teachers and students for helping him prepare mentally before leaving.

“I didn’t want to get choked up, but they almost got me,” he joked. “It’s overwhelming.”

The entire school stood in recognition for Jordan as a song played during the assembly. American Legion Post 467 Commander Bob Gick saluted Jordan and presented him a Legion membership with a card and T-shirt. Holcomb thanked Jordan for his service to his country.

“He’s our hometown hero,” he said.

Junior high students presented a short reading on the meaning of courage during the assembly. Elementary students read their own personal thank-you notes.

“You are not Spider-Man or Superman, but to me you are still a superhero,” one girl said.

Holcomb said the staff had discussed video-chatting with Jordan when he is overseas, but he wasn’t sure that would be possible because Jordan’s mission is secretive. Students and staff would send letters and prayers, he said.

Jordan said he would approach his mission overseas with the same attitude as he had in his previous tours.

“We have a job to do,” he said. “We’ll take it one week at a time.”

A former science teacher has agreed to come out of retirement to help in Jordan’s absence, Holcomb said. But the school will miss Jordan.

Holcomb said Jordan’s students enjoy his classes, and some elementary students say they can’t wait to have him for a teacher.

“When you have a hero on your staff,” he said, “it’s easy for them to gain respect.”

___

Information from: The (Auburn, Ind.) Star, http://www.dekalbstar.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide