MANCHESTER – Elementary school students were recently treated to a visit from a local major general, who shared stories from his career.
Major General John Gordy II, Commander, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, JBMDL, visited the students at Manchester Township Elementary School. He donned his flight suit and took questions from the students.
“General Gordy spoke to our school community about his military adventures and how our Medal of Honor Traits come into play every day in life. He talked about the traits of sacrifice, commitment, courage, integrity, citizenship and patriotism,” said Principal Linda Waldron, referring to the Medal of Honor character education program that the school participates in. “General Gordy also shared his love of flying and highlighted his favorite plane, a C-130. We learned about his adventures to all the continents and how he has been to over 30 countries.”
According to his biography, in 1988 he received his commission through the ROTC program at the University of North Carolina. He’s had assignments at the squadron, wing, major command, combatant command, and joint staff levels, and has commanded at squadron and wing levels. He has served as a wing and numbered Air Force Vice Commander. He has more than 4,700 flying hours in the C-130 E/H and T-43 aircraft.
He graduated from the United States Air Force Weapons School and National War College. Before his current assignment, Gordy served as the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to Turkey.
The Manchester Township High School NJROTC cadets and the Manchester Township Elementary School Color Guard presented the colors to start the assembly, followed by students who sang The Star-Spangled Banner.
Those who presented colors met with the general before the assembly started. He surprised them during the program with what district public information officer Lee Bruzaitis described as “special coins that [Gordy] said he gives to recognize good work.”
At the program’s conclusion, the fifth-graders stayed behind to get a photo with Gordy for their yearbook.
“It was a day we will always remember,” Waldron said. “Thank you to all our parents, grandparents and community members who are currently serving or have served in the military. We appreciate all the sacrifices you make for us and all that you have done to defend our freedom. You have truly made a difference to us.”