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Fishburne Military School honors deployed teacher

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:03 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - Fishburne Military School honored a faculty member who is currently deployed in the Middle East on Thursday, Oct. 21.

Chief Warrant Officer Phillip Lacey dedicated an American flag with a certificate for the cadets.

Battalion Commander Cadlee Jarvis, student at Fishburne, says they all knew Chief Lacey was in the reserve, but they were still saddened to hear he’d be leaving.

“It was really sad to all of us because he’s one of the best teachers we’ve had, and for him to go over there and fight for his life so we can have freedom here. It was hard for us to comprehend that, but we know he’s doing great things over there and we sure do miss him,” Jarvis said.

Javis says he has fond memories of Chief Lacey as his teacher.

“Chief was always a teacher that was always there for you. He related to use because he also graduated from Fishburne,” Jarvis said. “He was a hard guy, but he was always there for you. He knew what he was doing, and he was a great leader.”

Jarvis says when they got the news last spring, they held a ceremony to honor Chief Lacey.

“Once the day came that he told us he was going to be gone for most of the school year, it really hurt us. During that time, we actually did a full ceremony for him last year for his deployment,” Jarvis said.

A. A. Puryear, retired from the VA National Guard and Chief of Public Affairs, says Chief Lacey is one of about 2,000 service members currently deployed from efforts in Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky.

“The Virginia National Guard is on pace to mobilize the most Soldiers and Airmen since 2007, and the 29th Infantry Division will mobilize the most Soldiers since World War II with troops deploying from units in Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky,” Puryear reported in an email.

There are about 500 soldiers working in the Middle East, and some are completing efforts from places like Staunton, Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

About 1,000 soldiers from VA and KY will leave for Africa in November.

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