COPPERAS COVE, Texas — From school lunch workers to aides and teachers, the men and women who help raise our nation's children are often selfless, taking on important responsibilities for the betterment of our young people.
Recently, a Central Texas school bus driver caught our eye for going above and beyond to care for the children he encounters.
Copperas Cove ISD driver Jerry Martin noticed the grass at one of his bus stops was growing quite high. And, he didn't want his students to be stuck standing in the weeds while waiting for the bus.
Apparently, the home near the bus stop is vacant. So, the yard isn't being maintained.
"The weeds in the yard were about knee-high to me, so you know it was taller for the children," he explained in an email. "The weeds have cockleburs, so they stick to their pants and socks and they have to pick them off. Once the children get on my bus, I consider them my children. No one wants their kids to be covered in cockleburs."
Wanting to give his students the best experience, he went out and mowed the grass at the bus stop. A photo posted by the school district, which is located not far from Fort Hood, shows Mr. Martin wearing a baseball cap and pushing a red lawnmower.
"Three cheers for Mr. Martin!" the school district wrote on Facebook.
Mr. Martin has been a bus driver for 18 years.
"I like being the district representative as the first person the children see every morning and the last person that many see every day," he told 10News in an email. "I know all of their names, high school down to elementary. I greet them by their names every day!"
He often helps the students with their classes by practicing spelling and math with them.
"I serve as a mentor to many of the high school students," he said. "Many bus drivers try to get to drive my bus whenever I am gone because it is so well-mannered. I address the high school students by Miss and Mister and they address me as Mr. Martin."
If he's going to be away for a while, Mr. Martin tells the kids to be good, and he'll reward them when he returns.
"Of course, they are always good, so I give them each a piece of fruit when they are getting off the bus," Mr. Martin said.
The district tells us Mr. Martin has mowed the grass in "many, many yards" over the years. Someone just happened to snap a photo of his good deed this time.
Mr. Martin served 20 years in the U.S. Army before retiring and becoming a bus driver.
It's clear he takes pride in caring for his students. Thanks, Mr. Martin!
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