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Custodian a living lesson in patriotism

Rick Razon, head custodian at Ridgetop Junior High School, is currently serving in Iraq. - Courtesy photo
Rick Razon, head custodian at Ridgetop Junior High School, is currently serving in Iraq.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

With a five-minute phone call, the students of Ridgetop Junior High School learned more about Veteran’s Day than they could in any classroom. During the school’s Nov. 10 Veteran’s Day assembly, the school’s head custodian, Rick Razon, called from near Tikrit, Iraq, where he has been since mid-August. Razon, a petty officer third class, was called to active duty in July with his Navy Reserve unit, the U.S. Navy 528th Petroleum Supply Company. He’s been a reservist for three years and is currently at Camp Speicher.

Razon told the hushed gymnasium that held about 940 students and 100 faculty members that he was “proud and humbled to serve all of you.”

He also told the students that he and his fellow reservists were dedicated to their mission: Working for the safety and security of the United States and improving the quality of life for Iraqis.

The setup for the phone call was kind of complicated, said Steve Lee, a counselor at Ridgetop Junior High. Lee stood in the gymnasium with a two-way radio and the microphone, while someone in the front office held another two-way radio and the phone.

Even though Razon is the kind of man who never calls attention to himself, the school and district staff still feel his absence. He’s the kind of man who works hard, connects well with students and staff and fulfills his obligations, Lee said.

“He connects well with the kids,” Lee said of Razon. “He’s a pleasure to work with. He’s the kind of person who makes each day at Ridgetop enjoyable when it really could be otherwise. The eighth- and ninth-graders know him very well. They certainly miss him.”

Razon is with the 528th U.S. Navy Reserve POL (short for petroleum) unit, which is based out of a Forward

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