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In Uniform Schild Serves Country and State 14vHISVOICEvNOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 If you mention Brooks Schild’s name in the Yankton community, some may think of “Mr. Schild,” the Yankton Middle School science teacher. Others, however, know him as First Sergeant Schild for Bravo Battery. Schild’s military career began more than a decade ago when he was living and teaching in Council Bluffs, Iowa. A married 27-year-old with one child and another on the way, he sought a way to better provide for his growing family. While he may have initially joined the National Guard for the money, he quickly realized there was a lot more to it than that. “The sacrifices you have to give to be in the military are a hard thing,” he said. “Deployments are rough, and we lost some good people in our deployments, including my little brother.” Schild was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, from June 2005 to September 2006 and to Kuwait from April 2009 to April 2010. He has also gone out on flood duty three times —twice to Iowa and once in South Dakota during the Missouri River flood in 2011. “The reason I’ve stayed in (the National Guard) so long is because of how I can serve my country and still be a teacher and a coach,” he said. He’s also had the opportunity to learn about leadership in ways he might not have been able to otherwise. “I’ve had years of leadership training by being in the Guard and learned how to deal with people and stressful situations and how to evaluate situations and risks,” he said. This type of training makes veterans more eligible for jobs as opposed to those who haven’t gone through any kind of military training, he added. “Veterans have had to work through things that a normal person might have never had to,” he said. As first sergeant for Bravo Battery, his job is to support the commander in charge, make sure the soldiers are trained properly and that their needs are met. It’s also important for recruits to understand that their job is to support and defend the U.S. Constitution, Schild said. He has encountered other people from all walks of life who are as committed to this goal as he is. “It has given me a lot of exposure to diversity,” he said. “It’s pretty cool we can all come together for the U.S. Army.” He knows that American citizens are appreciative of what veterans do for their country, and has seen no clearer evidence of that than the way South Dakota treats its veterans. “The hospitals and clinics we have for the VA in South Dakota do a great job,” he said. “I hardly ever hear anyone say they didn’t like one of the places. That’s not how it is in other

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