Cameron Thompson home from Iraq 6.4

Written by David Green.

A familiar face returned to Fayette Elementary School Monday morning—familiar, at least, to the sixth grade class.

Cameron Thompson served as the social studies teacher for those pupils in the first semester of the 2006-07 school year. Then he heard from his Uncle Sam.

It was time for Mr. Thompson to report for active duty in preparation for deployment in the Middle East.school.cameron.jpg

Mr. Thompson attended the University of Findlay as a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). In trade for an education paid for by the government, he agreed to give eight years of military service.

Mr. Thompson served four years, then deactivated his status with the military and took a teaching job with the Fayette school district. That lasted a year and a half before he was ordered to report for duty at Ft. Sill, Okla., and then move on to Camp Shelby, Miss., for four months of training.

Those four months were very helpful, Mr. Thompson said. He joined a group of soldiers made up mostly of National Guard units from California. This brought together soldiers with a wide variety of skills and experience, and the long training period was beneficial.

Mr. Thompson ended up spending 11 months in Kuwait and Iraq, and he hopes this will be the end of his service, although he knows that in an emergency he would be called up again to fulfill his remaining 11 months, if not more.

The service he’s interested in now is in the classroom.

“I’m hoping to pick up where I left off,” he said.

Fifth and sixth grade students gathered in the cafeteria Monday morning when Mr. Thompson made a brief visit—and an impromptu speech.

“The last year and a half has been a long time for me,” he said. “The best thing about being back is being around all of you again,” he said. “I’m really happy to be back with my friends and teachers again.”

Mr. Thompson said he looks forward to the next school year and having the time to talk with his former students.

But what about the mustache? asked one student.

Mr. Thompson made occasional e-mail contact with students and one of his letters talked about a mustache-growing contest.

At first, he tried to convince the students that the mustache they saw in the photo was just a fake one, but then he admitted that he entered the contest.

It was just a way of passing the time in the Middle East.

“I shaved it off as fast as I could,” he said. “We like to do things to entertain ourselves.

 

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016