ST. LOUIS — The rising cost of a private education can be a struggle for many families. Fortunately, that's not the case for the Thompson family thanks to Folds of Honor.
"We weren't in a position to put three children through private school and when Folds of Honor stepped in it took so much off our plate," said Master Sgt. Paul Thompson.
It's been almost three decades of change for Sgt. Thompson. His life first shifted on St. Patrick's Day 1993 when he walked into a recruiting office planning to serve for three years, which turned into 21. He is very proud of his time in Iraq but also his time spent in recruitment. He loves giving back.
"Getting commitments from our young men and women in a time of consistent war and them taking the oath for their country, that makes me so proud," he said.
Sgt. Thompson and his wife, Kris, know the constant moving a service family goes through can take a toll.
"We moved sometimes yearly, so uprooting our family and getting them enrolled in new schools was probably the hardest thing family wise", said Kris Thompson.
The moving just became a part of life for their children. At one point, Kris mentioned their son, Ryder, would see a simple box delivered to the house and thought it was a moving box. She felt sad for them, but it didn't change their love for their role models, especially their father who was proudly serving his country.
Ryder, Kindle and Teague all gave the same answer when asked what they felt about their dad and what they would tell all of their friends: "He's the BEST and we love him so much!"
Sixteen-year-old Ryder attends Summit Christian Academy in Lees Summit, Missouri, and wants to study history.
Fifteen-year-old Kindle attends Raypec High School and goes to Sylvan Learning Center for tutoring. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Kindle gave a poignant answer of wanting "to be a role model."
Ten-year-old Teague, who goes to Bridle Ridge Elementary and also tutoring at Sylvan, wants to go into computer coding.
And there's one Thompson chil who's already following in her father's footsteps. That role goes to their 22-year-old daughter, Miranda, who is in Washington State in the Army.
They couldn't say enough positive words about the Folds of Honor Organization and how it has helped them.
"It is a priceless thing that they do," Sgt. Thompson said, adding that his family cannot give them enough gratitude for the support they've gotten.