FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Jonathan Springer could be described as an All-Aamerican boy.
Springer grew up in Columbia City and played football for the Eagles. He would go on to play at the collegiate level for the first football team at Saint Francis. It was during his time there when he received his call to action.
"I always thought I was going to play football, go into college and maybe be a, believe or not a broadcast journalist," said Springer. "And 9-11 happened and just like most of us in the time frame, I felt a calling to serve and kind of changed course in my life. I said I wanted to enlist and go serve my country."
His skills in communications and journalism would come in handy. Springer's first tour was served as a military journalist with the 16th military police brigade to Baghdad, Iraq.
"I was just trying to cover what they were doing because we were doing great things."
One of the not so great things his brigade had to deal with was the aftermath of one of the most infamous torture scandals that occurred during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2.
"We were in charge of Abu Ghraib, if you remember Abu Ghraib. So, we took over for the two reserve or guard units that basically caused the Abu Ghraib scandal."
Springer's job as a military journalist was to write the story, but he wouldn't remain in the position for long thanks to a man who went on to be a 3 star general.
"He said 'Sergeant Springer, you've got college right?' I said 'Yeah.' He said 'Well we think you'd be a good candidate for officer candidate school.'"
The newly promoted sergeant would start on the next role of his military career after graduating OCS, becoming a field artillery officer with the 101st airborne division. Springer would face more difficult situations on his next tours to the middle east. Tune in to Hometown Heroes next week (January 13th) to hear how Springer's time during intense battles in his 2nd and 3rd deployment lead to him helping give back on the battlefield.
- Hometown Hero - Jonathan Springer, Pt. 1
- Hometown Hero - Jonathan Springer, Pt. 2
- Hometown Heroes - Richard Bivens
- Hometown Hero: Ralph Reighter
- Hometown Heroes - Bruce Johnson
- Hometown Hero - Thomas Quady
- Hometown Hero - Jason Shearer
- Hometown Hero: Dennis Covert
- Hometown Hero: Bennie Edwards
- Hometown Hero: Ron Buskirk