Two men from Taft stand guard in front of school

Lincoln Junior High students gave a warm reception to the two uniformed men standing in front of their school Tuesday morning.

Craig Gotcher (National Guard) and Josh Truesdell (veteran) were part of the Vets Against School Shootings contingent standing at area schools today.

The stood in front of the junior high in their uniforms in the chilling morning air to make students feel a little safer as they came to school less than a week after a shooting a short distance away at Taft Union High School.

Both men said the kids liked their protectors.

"They're just thankful," Truesdell said.

Truesdell was a bit surprised at the reception.

"I wasn't expecting a lot of students to come up to me like that," he said.

Both men are from Taft.

"We got a lot of 'thank you's' and waves," Gotcher said. "Some kids even took pictures with me."