Tulsa teacher heading off to Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 14th 2004, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

Most of the news about the war on terrorism focuses on Iraq. But one Tulsa school is sending one of its few good men to Afghanistan.

News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger explains.

"You got two cars with the same mass." It's a subject Richard Dixon has taught for 11 years, 5 of those years at Clinton Middle School. Science, he says it's his passion. “I've always enjoyed it. I read a lot of science fiction. I watch all the discovery channels- always interested in it."

But soon Dixon will leave his teaching duties for overseas duty. For some of his students, their emotions are written all over their face. They know he has to go, but they'll miss him.

Student Chelsi Moore: "The way he acts his personality and stuff."

Student Brittany Martinez: "His jokes. They're so stupid but so funny.”

Dixon is with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. In exchange for chalk and books he will head to the sandy deserts of Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom. "They're excited, but sad at the same time, they don't want to see me go!"

Now "Mister" Dixon becomes "Sergeant" Dixon, uncertain about how long he'll be away. “They said it could be a year or more." Students and faculty couldn't let Dixon go without the proper send off, one fit for a military hero. But he says no matter how far away he is, "this" family will always be in his heart!

Sergeant Dixon is on "alert" status right now but he says his unit could be called up sometime in the next couple of weeks. And when he returns to Tulsa, he says he'll go back to being a science teacher at Clinton Middle School.

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