A former Marine who has children in a Nashville elementary school says the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut moved him to take some action. As Mark Bellinger reports, a lone sentry is now outside Gower Elementary School...
After the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, one local father and former Marine is standing guard at his children's school and parents said he's a welcome addition to the school.
Jordan Pritchard, a former Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, pulled down his old Marine Corps uniform from the attic Sunday night and decided to make a difference in his community. When he was in the military his job was to keep our country safe and for the next week he planned bring that safety home by standing guard outside the front door of Gower Elementary School.
He said it's his responsibility.
"I'm doing this because we need hope man. We need hope," explained Pritchard.
He's a volunteer. He's not getting paid. He's not even armed, but parent said they feel a whole lot better about leaving their children at school while he's been at the front door.
The shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut was a thousand miles away, but what happened there hits too close to home.
Pritchard said it's his duty, and parents are appreciative.
"If you are able and capable of doing something you have the responsibility to act," he said.
Sarah Knies has 2nd and 3rd graders who attend Gower Elementary School. She said she was comforted knowing Pritchard was there.
"He made me feel good. Just to know that he stood up and did something to make us all feel better today," she explained.
Many parents, staff and students stopped by to thank Pritchard.
"When parents come up to me and they're crying and thanking me for being out here," Pritchard said. "There's no job in the world that can pay me enough money to not do things for the kids and the parents."
Pritchard also has children who attend Gower Elementary School: a daughter, Valerie, in second grade and a son, Colby, in first grade. He insists his actions have not just been about them. He said he feels is about something much bigger.
"We have to live this life for other people. That's the only way that happiness and true peace and hope will come back to our nation is when we all come back together and love each other," he said.
Sergeant Pritchard plans to stand guard at the school until Wednesday, when Metro Schools finish for the year.
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