Local veteran reflects on his brother’s sacrifice

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YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) – “I’ve had the opportunity to serve my country overseas, and war,” veteran Brooks Schild said.

Schild uses Memorial Day to reflect on his days serving in the military. It started back in 1990 where he served with the Iowa guard.

“I was a motorman actually. Then, after ten years, I moved back home to South Dakota to help take care of family,” Schild said.

Not long after, he joined the South Dakota National Guard with his little brother Rich.

Brooks and Rich. 2005

They were assigned to Yankton’s Charlie Battery and deployed to Iraq in 2005.

“If you ask anybody, Rich was a solider’s solider, and if you know anybody in the military, they know what that means; he took care of soldiers,” Schild said.

That same year, Rich and two other soldiers were killed in an insurgent attack while helping train a fellow solider in driving a HUMVEE. Schild was there when it happened.

“I got to bring him home with military honors all the way to Yankton… and… yeah, I don’t know how you can beat that for the most honorable thing I’ve ever done,” Schild said.

Rich’s memorial.

While he still mourns the loss of his brother, Schild can’t help but smile when reflecting with family about the good times they’ve shared growing up and while overseas.

“I have pictures that I cherish from where we’re standing together and maybe at Sadam’s palace where we’re standing there and we’re going to take a picture and he looked too short so he stood on a 6, 7, 8 inch so he’s about my height standing when we took the picture, so Rich would just do funny things,” Schild said.

Brothers in arms and in blood.

While those who lost their lives may be gone physically, the stories and their spirit will live on forever.

“Just keep their memory alive on this day and honor their sacrifice that they gave for their country,” Schild said.

After his brother’s funeral Brooks went back to Iraq to finish his tour. He’s currently a Command Sergeant Major for the South Dakota National Guard. He’s served for 25 years.

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