Honoring those who served…Local veteran Jason O’Toole
As Veteran’s Day approaches, it’s worth taking the time to honor and thank those who have dedicated their time to serving in the various military branches in this country. Jason O’Toole is one such service member that deserves thanks for his critical behind the scenes work in the Air National Guard.
O’Toole was born and raised in Tea and graduated from Lennox High School in 1991. He currently lives in Sioux Falls while working full time at the Air National Guard base.
His career in the Air National Guard started in 1993 thanks to the words of his father. According to O’Toole, his dad was in the Army for a couple of years before Vietnam. His father spoke about service, and according to O’Toole, “He mentioned it and it kind of took hold, so to speak. 25 years later, I’m just about finished.”
In the Air National Guard, O’Toole has been working in the role of Services, which includes food service, fitness and recreation, lodging, and such other necessary things for supporting a base. Since bases are like small cities, this is no easy feat. For example, O’Toole explained how on Guard weekends, that food service means cooking for anywhere from 500 - 800 people.
“Everybody’s gotta eat, everybody’s gotta sleep. When you think of the military you think of people with guns and stuff like that, but we’re the people behind that,“ explained O’Toole.
O’Toole’s work has taken him around the globe, including time in Germany, Turkey, Korea, and most recently, Qatar, where he just finished six months that ended back in January.