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Retired Chula Vista teacher grateful for war hero's inspiration

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 21:19:58-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV)- A Hilltop High School alumnus who graduated in 1972 is more grateful for one of her teachers on the anniversary of D-Day.

Kathy Cappos Hardy had Mr. Tom Rice as a United States Government teacher her senior year of high school. She tells 10News, “the way he enlivened it and related it to our lives made it truly something important to me”.

Cappos Hardy has vivid memories of Rice and even says she pursued her career in education because of his impact he had on her.

It wasn’t until about 20 years ago when Cappos Hardy realized her US Government teacher was also one of the thousands of troops who stormed the beaches of Normandy, France during World War II.

97-year-old Tom Rice is from Coronado. He was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division who landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

On D-Day, Cappos Hardy wrote an editorial thanking her teacher for his service in and out of the classroom. Now, she’s not only hoping he sees it, but that she also gets a chance to tell him thank you when he returns from Normandy.

“I hope he knows that there are a lot of us that admire him not only as a teacher but what he did prior to that.” Cappos Hardy tells 10News.