SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Steve Warnstadt graduated from Drake University in 1989 with degrees in history and political science. When he was commissioned into the Army later that year, he experienced history in the making as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down.

“And then to get a hammer and a chisel and personally tear down that symbol of oppression really was a huge milestone for my life and knowing that it was part of something that had taken place for over 40 years,” Warnstadt said

After four years in the Army, Warnstadt served 26 years in the Iowa National Guard.

In 1994, while he was still in the Guard, he began a different kind of service. He served 16 years combined in the Iowa House and Senate.

Warnstadt said his military experience had a profound impact on his political perspective.

“It made me very aware when I became a state legislator of how big policy decisions impact individual people and to be very aware and sensitive of the fact that while different policies may end up being broadly beneficial, they can have a bad impact,” Warnstadt said.

Warnstadt left the State Legislature in 2010 and returned to his hometown of Sioux City and currently works at Western Iowa Tech Community College. He coordinates the Western Iowa Regents Resource Center which helps students in Siouxland get access to educational resources, another form of service.

“We brought the University of Iowa’s Latin jazz ensemble to Harlan, Iowa to perform with the high school jazz band in Harlan and so that was a massive opening of opportunity for those high school students,” said Warnstadt.

Warnstadt said western Iowa is still underserved and he is proud to continue advocating for more resources for Siouxland students.