Warm Welcome for Two Servicemen Returned To Starke County

Jared Dietrich, right, and Clinton Jordon were welcomed home yesterday to a crowd of family and friends.

The Knox VFW yesterday welcomed home two local heroes: Clinton Jordon and Jared Dietrich, two U.S. Army veterans who returned home from one-year tours in Afghanistan. Jordon and Dietrich both hail from North Judson and even grew up together as they both attended the same school.

A sign was hung between flag poles at the VFW welcoming Jordon back to the community, and family and friends were present to welcome both Jordon and Dietrich home.

Jordon said it was a great feeling to have such a warm welcome from his service to our country.

“I can breathe finally, like a sigh of relief – just a huge weight just lifted off your back,” said Jordon. “That’s about the only way to describe it. It’s good to be back, just to be around everybody: friends, family. It’s like your whole deployment, this is what you worked for, this day right here.”

This was the first tour for Dietrich, who was born into a family with a military history dating back as far as the American Revolution. He said it felt great to be home, but he’s still getting used to the familiar sights and sounds.

The Knox VFW welcomed the two veterans back to Starke County with open arms.

“It’s a little surreal,” said Dietrich. “I haven’t taken it in yet. We’ll find out in the next couple of weeks, but I’m happy!”

Another former Knox High School student returned home yesterday as well. Tim Watts, a 2004 Knox graduate, arrived at the Gary International Airport at 11:50 a.m. CT yesterday after serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

A procession led the pair into Knox at 3 p.m., where they met up with their family and friends at the Knox VFW. Jordon and Dietrich said they’re not sure where they’ll go from here, but they plan to spend a lot of time with their loved ones and re-acclimate to life in the states.