WINNEBAGO (WIFR) -- A local teacher isn't only saying goodbye to his family, but to hundreds of kids as he trades in the classroom for Afghanistan.
Saying goodbye isn't easy, but for Lucas Kramer, every farewell feels like his first. This is Kramer's second deployment while teaching at Winnebago High School.
"The kids are great. They always show me so much support, and they respect me and I respect them," says Lucas Kramer, a teacher at Winnebago High School.
Duty calls for Kramer who's headed to Afghanistan for the 4th time. Winnebago students say it's not everyday you find a teacher who's like a friend.
"He's a teacher but he's more than a teacher. It has meant a lot. I can go to him with anything I ever need to," says Steven Mitchell, Senior at Winnebago High School.
Kramer believes he'll spend a year overseas. Then, he'll come back to Winnebago, right where he left off, teaching engineering and craftsmanship. Before he goes, his students wanted to say a few words.
"Thank you so much for serving our country and I hope everything will be alright," says Blakeley Snyder, Sophomore at Winnebago High School.
"Thank you for everything that you've done for me, and what you're gonna do for our country. We'll see you when you get back," says Mitchell.
Kramer says the school always has a place for him when he gets back. He also wants to thank his community for taking care of his wife and children while he's fighting overseas.