A former Marine and father of two decided to help ease his daughter's fears after the tragic school shooting in Connecticut late last week by standing guard outside her west Nashville school.
Jordan Pritchard served eight years in the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged last May.
Over the weekend, Pritchard said his daughter told him she was scared to return to school following the Connecticut tragedy.
“As a dad, I can't have that. I can't have my daughter come to school worried about somebody coming in and hurting her,” Pritchard said.
He added, “To settle her peace of mind, who better than her dad to come out here and stand in front of the school?”
Pritchard told Nashville's News 2 he dusted off his Marine Corps uniform and has been standing guard in front of Gower Elementary School on Old Hickory Boulevard in Bellevue since Monday.
“This uniform represents more than who I am as a person. Me, being out here may just be enough to stop somebody, some misguided, mislead person from doing something crazy. That was my goal and to ease my daughter's mind,” he said.
Standing guard at the school has not only eased his daughter's mind, it has also been very reassuring to other parents.
“Just to know that symbolic uniform that represents protection is here at Gower [Elementary] is just heart warming. It's peaceful, it brought a tear to my eye yesterday,” parent Lucy Hipp said.
Grandmother Karyn Brown added, “It is a sense of comfort to know that people will step up and take responsibility in the community to protect our youngest.”
Pritchard told Nashville's News 2 many of his fellow parents are extremely thankful for his presence.
“Ninety five percent of the parents are crying when they come up here and if they are not crying here, they are crying by the time they get to the office. So the office says,” He said.
Pritchard said father and Army veteran David Pitt has also helped him stand guard outside the school.
“A lot of people like to talk when tragic events happen and Jordan is doing something about it and motivated me to do something as well,” Pitt said.
Pritchard said he hopes to organize other parent volunteers to help stand guard after the holiday break.