RAPID CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS REFLECT
ON THEIR MILITARY SERVICE AND VETERANS DAY
RAPID CITY, SD--Four members of the Rapid City Council served in the United States military. As the nation approaches this Veterans Day, these Council members - Council President Amanda Scott, Steve Laurenti, Ritchie Nordstrom and Jason Salamun - share their insights and sentiments about their military and community service.
Ward Four/Council President
BRANCH OF SERVICE: United States Air Force
YEARS OF SERVICE: 4 1/2 years
AREA OF EXPERTISE WHILE SERVING: Public Affairs
ANY DUTY IN A THEATER OF ACTION: No
FOND MEMORIES OF YOUR MILITARY SERVICE: "Since my area of expertise was Public Affairs and included providing television and radio communications as well as media communications, my tours were all overseas. What I remember most, is the community spirit of the bases on which I served. Not only did the base itself have a community spirit, but the closeness of our unit was amazing. It really is an extended family when serving overseas!"
DID YOUR MILITARY SERVICE PREPARE YOU FOR COMMUNITY/PUBLIC SERVICE AS A COUNCIL MEMBER?: "My military experience was all about how to give back to the members of the community as each of them were the most important element of our service. Public Affairs is a support function, so the focus should remain on the contributions of our military members that are active in providing and defending our freedoms."
SENTIMENTS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE THIS VETERANS' DAY: "I cannot express my thankfulness to our military members, both past and present, that allow all of us to live in the best country in the world - the United States of America. Sincerely, I am humbled by each military member's commitment to each and every citizen."
BRANCH OF SERVICE: US Navy
YEARS OF SERVICE: 1967-1971
AREAS OF EXPERTISE WHILE SERVING: Boatswain's mate (pronounced bowsin)
ANY DUTY IN THE THEATER OF ACTION? Served in VietNam as additional duty while stationed in Japan with the Amphibious Construction Battalion.
FOND MEMORIES OF YOUR MILITARY SERVICE: "Serving in VietNam near the DMZ and at DaNang Naval Base. Stationed at Yokosuka, Japan, then picking up the Apollo 14 astronaut crew from the South Pacific upon splashdown; and that was immediately followed by supporting the visit of President Nixon to Mexico."
DID YOUR MILITARY SERVICE PREPARE YOU FOR COMMUNITY/PUBLIC SERVICE AS A COUNCIL MEMBER?: "My military service prepared me for, and taught me how to work hard and be prepared for any eventuality. Things can and will change at a moment's notice, that life is precious and war should be a last resort not the first approach to resolving conflicts."
SENTIMENTS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE THIS VETERANS' DAY: "I want to salute and thank all the current and former military personnel for their service to our country. Saying thanks for serving our country seems like, at times, not sufficient enough for being in harm's way, for the sacrifices you make to be a service person to our country and sometimes getting unpopular assignments. I humbly say Thank You for what you do!"
BRANCH OF SERVICE: US Air Force
YEARS OF SERVICE: 1996-2000
AREAS OF EXPERTISE WHILE SERVING: Support Services for NORAD at Peterson AFB and the Cheyenne Mountain Complex at Colorado Springs
ANY DUTY IN THE THEATER OF ACTION? Deployment included Incirlik, Turkey in support of the northern no-fly zone over Iraq.
FOND MEMORIES OF YOUR MILITARY SERVICE: "My military service is a deep well of memories. When I reflect back on those years, it’s the people I served with that stand out. Brothers and sisters from all backgrounds who came together with the shared mission to fly, fight, and win. All driven to protect and defend our great nation and the God-given liberties we enjoy."
DID YOUR MILITARY SERVICE PREPARE YOU FOR COMMUNITY/PUBLIC SERVICE AS A COUNCIL MEMBER?: "Integrity first. Service before self. Excellence in all we do. These are the core values of the United States Air Force and they continue to serve as my guiding principles in public service (and in life)."
SENTIMENTS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE THIS VETERANS' DAY: "To all my brothers and sisters who’ve raised their hand and sworn the oath, THANK YOU! Some have sacrificed their bodies, their relationships, and even their lives so we could enjoy our freedoms and live in peace. May our fellow citizens recognize the best way to honor those who’ve served is to live in peace and respect one another. That’s what so many bravely fought for."
BRANCH OF SERVICE: U.S. Army
YEARS OF SERVICE: 1986-1989
AREAS OF EXPERTISE WHILE SERVING: Cargo Specialist, Army Battalion 9mm Shooting Team, Honor Guard
ANY DUTY IN A THEATER OF ACTION: No
FOND MEMORIES OF YOUR MILITARY SERVICE?: "The honor of continuing a family tradition of serving in the military. The privilege of wearing the uniform and representing our country."
DID YOUR MILITARY SERVICE PREPARE YOU FOR COMMUNITY/PUBLIC SERVICE AS A COUNCIL MEMBER?: "Discipline, focusing on those things within your span of control and scope, not quitting when the going gets tough, being grateful for things you have, not the things you want."
SENTIMENTS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE THIS VETERANS' DAY: "A deep and grateful appreciation and respect for all those who have served, are serving and will serve. A deep pride and God's Speed to my sons, one who has served in our Army National Guard and another, who is currently serving as a medic in the 82nd Airborne and is currently working his way through Ranger School at Ft. Benning, GA.
Darrell W. Shoemaker | Communications Coordinator
T: 605.721.6686 | M: 605.939.8551