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Battle-tested
Retired Army Lt. Col. Hugh OConnor brings life lessons to NC student-athletes
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RETIRED ARMY LT. COL. Hugh OConnor (left) shares a laugh with North Central High School head football coach and athletic director Louis Clyburn following Monday mornings workout. OConnor is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Knights.
Sliding a bit to his left and nudging his left elbow against the right arm of the person sitting beside him, Hugh O’Connor showed just how close he and the driver of his vehicle were when the bomb went off.He never said a word. There was no need. His eyes and his mannerisms did all the talking.On a warm Monday morning, seated on a row of the concrete bleachers at Knights Stadium at North Central High School, the school’s Junior ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) instructor and first-year assistant football coach/conditioning coordinator gave an insight into America’s war on terror which few people will ever receive.One of 19 members of his family who all served in some branch of the U.S. military at the same time, retired Lt. Col. Hugh O’Connor served two stints in Iraq and one in Afghanistan since the attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001.

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