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.tug
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  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
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  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
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  • 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.

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