SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Wade Tompkins joined the Army National Guard in 2014 during his sophomore year of college.

In 2017, he was deployed to Iraq for two years. He helped with security missions as the U.S. began handing over control of the country to the Iraqi police. In 2020, he was sent to Kosovo on a much different mission.

“Predominantly I met with principals, priests, village leaders and if they had any issues they wanted to address, they address it to me and if it was something that we could help them out, we would take it back, report it up,” said Tompkins.

Tompkins helped people get necessities such as school supplies. He wasn’t the only one in his family who got involved. His mother is a teacher with the Sioux City Community School District. Tompkins helped her get in touch with teachers in Kosovo.

“She was all for it. Just being able to balance and compare and contrast how kids are taught in the U.S. versus how they’re taught over there,” said Tompkins.

After Kosovo, Tompkins got a job as a veterans services officer in Elk Point. There, he helps veterans with their disability benefits.

“I get to help veterans from Vietnam to my era now, from Iraq and Afghanistan, so I get to carry on the meaningfulness of everything that I’ve done over the last year or two,” said Tompkins.

He plans to serve in the Army National Guard for another 12 years before he retires and said he’s proud to continue helping other veterans in Siouxland.