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states.” He’s learned even more about this since he was recently appointed to serve on the state Veterans Commission. “I was out in Hot Springs visiting the South Dakota veteran’s home and saw what a fantastic facility it was and how many veterans it serves,” he said. His new role also allows him to be part of developing plans, one of which involves having a national military cemetery constructed on the east side of the state. “Our mission is focused on making sure we’re in line with what the Department of Veterans Affairs commission was originally set up for,” he said. Schild is still very much present in his role with Bravo Battery, which is currently on a high level of alert that started in October and is set to end next September. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean soldiers could be deployed, he said. “What that does is give us the money, or allocation, so we can train to a higher standard so if we were to get called, we’d be ready for deployment at any time,” he explained. “We were close to this same level of readiness a few years ago and we weren’t deployed.” For now, the South Dakota Army National Guard is providing assistance to wherever it’s called in the country. Just recently, it sent four soldiers and two water trucks to Puerto Rico to assist in hurricane relief. “You don’t get much more satisfaction than being able to help people at their lowest point,” Schild said. When his middle school students express interest in possibly joining the military, he encourages them to serve where they want, he said. “I tell them if they join the military, they’ll have a job that challenges them that is also the most rewarding job they’ll ever have,” he said. However, he admits that he has some favoritism towards the South Dakota National Guard. “We’re a prideful state with great citizens that back our military,” he said. “South Dakota National Guard would do anything for us and our families.” Being in the military has made him a stronger person and opened his eyes to the sacrifices made by soldiers and their families, he said. “My little brother, Rich, would say that he was proud to wear the uniform and serve following those who had gone before him,” Schild said, referring to his brother, who died in Iraq in 2005. “We’re following along those veterans’ footsteps trying to do the same job they did. It’s a prideful thing to put on your uniform, look in the mirror and see that you’re a member of the U.S. Army and the South Dakota Army National Guard, and that you’ve done missions that some people may never do.” Brooks Schild and Lt. Governor Matt Michels. vBy Reilly Biel Brooks Schild greeting guests at Winter Formal. If your family suddenly needs surgical care, where will you turn? You want someone to ease your fears, lessen the stress, and take the time to comfort you and your family. No referral necessary. Independently owned. Call Yankton Surgical Associates, PC today for a consultation. 605-668-9670 2525 Fox Run Parkway, Suite 204, Yankton www.yanktonsurgical.com Kynan C.Trail, MD, FACS HISVOICEvNOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017v15

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