HISD teacher receives patriotic welcome after returning from deployment

It was a patriotic celebration at Gilbert Elementary as one of its teachers who served overseas returned back to work on Sept. 11.

Physical Education Assistant Jorge Vasquez was surprised by students, teachers and staff, who all wore red, white and blue to celebrate his return after a year-long deployment.

“It was a big surprise! The district welcomed me back with open arms. It was great, and it definitely felt good,” Coach Vasquez said. “I feel like I just picked up where I left off. I missed everyone and the kids, so it feels good to come back.”

Vasquez received a true hero’s welcome as the entire campus was decorated with patriotic signs and banners that read, “Welcome Home, Coach Jorge Vasquez.”

Students also remembered him and greeted him with big smiles and high-fives.

 “We are very happy to have Coach Vasquez back,” Science and Social Studies Teacher Juan Bazaldua said. “He had a really good relationship with the kids. They loved him, they missed him, and they are very excited to have him back.”

The entire campus staff feels proud of Vasquez and is glad he returned safe and sound.

“When we knew he was going to come back today, it was kind of ironic because it’s Sept. 11. So, we decided to wear red, white and blue to really welcome him home because he is part of our Mustang family,” Gilbert Elementary Social Worker Jennifer Montes said. “We love him and missed him a lot. Knowing he was going to be back today was a big deal, and we’re just excited that he’s back.”

Gilbert Elementary Principal Herlinda Martinez-Longoria couldn’t agree more and added, “We’re extremely happy to have him home and fortunate enough to have him come back to our campus. Luckily, social media has kept him in contact when he could, and we’ve kept close contact with his wife and son while he was gone. So, we were overjoyed that he was able to come back to us. It’s very special.”

Thank you for your service, Coach Vasquez! 

Welcome Back Coach Vasquez

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