GRANITE CITY, Ill. — A sixth-grade teacher in Granite City, Illinois returned to school Monday from a nine-month deployment in the Middle East as part of the Air Force Reserves.

Mr. Robert Bragg was called to the office at about 9:20 a.m. While he was in the office, the whole school went into the hallways to cheer for him as he walked back to his room.

“They were pumped,” said Bragg. “I have a fun, loose, relaxed classroom. When I came back, they were excited.”

Bragg teaches at Grigsby Intermediate School. He returned Monday to teach the final nine days of the school year.

“I wanted to see the students,” he said. “I had relationships with them in the first four weeks. Lots of kids here don’t have military influence in their lives. I have the opportunity to show them about military lifestyle and culture.”

Bragg said he isn’t one to celebrate himself, so getting attention at school is something he isn’t so comfortable with. He just loves teaching.

“This district is great. They treat me very well. I feel like I have everything I wanted here,” Bragg said of the Granite City School District. “I feel a lot of appreciation, and I feel very happy to be home.”