Cocke County High School hosted a special ceremony to honor local veterans on Monday.
The band performed the fight songs from each military branch and students hung up thank you banners throughout the gym.
When Sheriff Fontes took office only two veterans worked for the department. That number is now up to 21.
"It's completely and totally humbling. Especially on a day when we're here honoring our veterans and honoring the men and women that sacrificed and some of them have given their lives to give us the freedoms and liberty that we have," said Sheriff Fontes.
Sheriff Fontes says he's happy to hire veterans and believes they are a great fit with the sheriff's department, since they've already shown a willingness to serve and protect and a commitment to good discipline.