WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - An east Texas man who joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17 is this week's Hero of Texoma.
Sgt. First Class Sportlon Jones needed his parents consent back in July of 2001 to joined the military. After receiving their blessing, Jones headed to Fort Knox, Kentucky for training.
"It just seemed like a great opportunity to see the world, learn new things and attend college," Jones said.
During his 15 years of service thus far, Jones has been to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Croatia, Chile, and Ecuador.
"Slovak language is not an easy language to learn," Jones said.
Working in international affairs afforded Jones the opportunity to learn new languages but the people he met were what he enjoyed most.
"You get to understand their lifestyle, their background. It's a mixed community, a community that you will forever know," Jones said.
The single father and his daughter have called Wichita Falls home for the last three years. Jones currently serves as the Readiness NCO for the Army National Guard unit in the city.
While the nomination to be a Hero of Texoma was unexpected, Jones is glad the work he and many others do for our country is being recognized.
"As the National Guard we are a community-based organization so we are supposed to be out there helping the community. This is my duty and I enjoy doing it," Jones said.
Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6