Ringgold High School's patriotic salute to one of their own, Master Sergeant Travis Head, who in a dozen days leaves for duty in Operation Enduring Freedom.

This pep rally, held in his honor, was supposed to be a secret, but try keeping something from a 20-plus-year vet of the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department.

"I heard bits and pieces of it all week, and finally, you know, its hard to keep a secret around here," smiles Head.  

"Surprised? Yeah, I wasn't expecting all this but it makes me very proud of our community and where we're at," says wife Amy, who says this will be the third time since 9/11 her husband has been deployed.

"You never become a veteran of it, its always hard, especially when you have kids, family and stuff," says Amy who believes this deployment may be easier for the couple's two daughters, thanks in part to social media.

"We will get to talk to him and video chat with him and stuff so that makes it so much better, it makes it a little easier but its hard to know your husband is going to be over there, overseas."

And to make sure the home front is thinking of him, Ringgold's student body gave these banners of appreciation to the departing teacher, but the handshakes and hugs make this airman even that much more thankful

"Let the staff and students know how much I appreciate their send-off  and how much it means to me and my family," says Head.

The Master Sergeant will train for a month in Nashville before deploying in the new year, he's expected back teaching for the start of the 2015 school year.