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Principal Turned War Veteran Visits Students

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Lt. Col. Melanie McLure, a Lt. Col. in the Army Reserves, served as a logistician in Iraq.
Jonathan Wilson
Lt. Col. Melanie McLure, a Lt. Col. in the Army Reserves, served as a logistician in Iraq.

By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, the school year may be coming to a close, but one elementary school principal in Prince William County is looking to get started again. She's just returned from a year-long tour of duty in Iraq.

Students filled the gymnasium at Enterprise Elementary in Woodbridge, singing, waving flags, and all wearing some combination of red white and blue. Proudly donning her desert camouflage uniform, Lt. Col. Melanie McLure stood smiling as various classes performed in her honor.

"It's the first principal in my entire 33 year career that I've known to leave and serve, so that was a very very big deal," says Steve Waltz, superintendent of Prince William County.

McLure says she hopes when students see her wearing her uniform they understand the importance of giving back to the country that's giving them so much.

"It's knowing that you have to give back; it's not always perfect, it's not always comfortable, it's not always pretty," she says.

McLure worked as a logistician in Iraq, helping the clean up process as troop levels drop. She says being a principal is the harder job.

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