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WWII veteran honored with media center at Polk County school

Jordan Jerome "J.J." Corbett was one of the Army's first Black paratroopers.

BARTOW, Fla. — A Polk County school on Wednesday honored a military veteran by dedicating a media center in honor of the local trailblazer.

The school district says Union Academy will now be the home of the J.J. Corbett Media Center. The honor is just the latest in a long list for Jordan Jerome Corbett. 

During World War II, he served as one of the Army's first Black paratroopers and went on to become a math teacher and renowned track coach at Union Academy. Corbett would also teach and coach at Bartow High following integration, spending 12 years as a member of the school board. 

At Wednesday's dedication ceremony, the 99-year-old shared some words of wisdom.

"Keep thinking positive about everything you do," Corbett said. "At times you don't feel like [it] — just keep a positive mind. I think it just helps you to get along on a daily basis."

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