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Veterans officer on his way to Iraq again

David Till had already been deployed to Iraq once. He knew a second deployment was possible.

"I knew this could happen," Till, Pierce County's Veterans Service Officer (VSO), said. "It's my job. It's what I do."

The orders became official last month and Till, a sergeant first class with the HHC 1-128 of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Wisconsin Army National Guard, will be deployed right after the new year. He'll arrive in Iraq at the end of April and depart in February 2010. He figures he'll be back in the VSO office in March 2010.

To fill Till's shoes, Irv Yelle, former Pierce and Buffalo County VSO, will work approximately two to three days a week in his absence.

He said nothing about the office will change--its office hours will still be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. If Yelle is unavailable, Till said, questions should be directed to Secretary Laurie Unseth. Till did advise people to be patient during this period.

Till was hired as Pierce's VSO last March, succeeding Merlin Blaisdell, who became St. Croix County's VSO.

"I love this job; it's become my passion," he said. "It's been great getting to know everyone here and I'm looking forward to coming back after deployment."

When he arrives in Iraq, Till, who has been a member of the Wisconsin National Guard for 14 years, will work in operations. He added he believes he'll be able to give updates to the VSO office on his exact mission and location over time.

In his first deployment, which was from 2004-05, he was an infantry squad leader patrolling in the City of Samarra. Till has been a member of the Wisconsin National Guard for 14 years.

Till, who turns 32 next week, presently lives in River Falls and is the father of a 10-year-old boy. Before becoming Pierce's VSO, he spent four years as a government account manager for a software company.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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