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Former CHS teacher now historian at National Guard Museum

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Jerry Meyer

Col. Gerald "Jerry" Meyer pauses for a photo in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, in 2012.

SEWARD — After 32 years of service, Col. Gerald D. “Jerry” Meyer is retiring Monday from his military duties.

The former Columbus High School teacher will remain in his current position as historian at the Nebraska National Guard Museum in Seward.

Meyer began his military career as an enlisted soldier in the 1064th Transportation Company in Boone, Iowa, in June 1984. He served as a helicopter crew chief on the UH-1 Huey.

Meyer attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and followed with advanced training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He was selected to attend Air Assault School while at Fort Rucker.

When he returned from training, he was chosen to participate in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of Northern Iowa. He was also in the Simultaneous Membership Program that allowed him to stay in his unit and participate in ROTC.

While attending training at Fort Lewis, Washington, he was selected to attend airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Meyer wears three sets of wings: crew member, air assault and airborne. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in May 1987 and sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for the Artillery Basic Officer Course.

Meyer served in a variety of positions in the Iowa National Guard from 1984 to 1997. He was in the 194th Field Artillery Battalion as a fire direction officer, executive officer and fire support officer. His teaching position brought him to Nebraska in 1994 and he became the commander of C Company, 134th Infantry in Columbus in 1997.

Meyer served on several deployments. He was part of the Hurricane Mitch relief mission to Honduras in 1999 and led the task force logistics in response to hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. He deployed to Afghanistan on three occasions: 2003-04, 2010-11 and 2011-12. Meyer was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal and two Bronze Stars for service overseas.

Meyer served as a public school teacher for 15 years. He started at Exira High School in Iowa from 1992-94 and was hired by Columbus High School in 1994 to teach history and coach. He taught in Columbus from 1994 to 2007.

His work on the design and construction of the Andrew Jackson Higgins Memorial in Pawnee Park West led to many community service awards in education.

Meyer received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1989 and Master of Science degree in curriculum and education from Wayne State College in 2001. He left teaching in 2007 to serve on active duty while helping units from Nebraska deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meyer married his wife Mary in May 1987. She was also a student at the University of Northern Iowa. They have three children, Jacob, Joshua and Meghan.

Meyer is currently the Nebraska National Guard historian stationed at the new museum in Seward. He was hired as the historian in April 2014, and is an employee of the Military Department of Nebraska and serves the Nebraska Army and Air National Guard as their museum representative.

He is an active member of the Seward community, serving on the July Fourth Committee, NE150 Committee, Christmas Parade Committee, Seward County Tourism and Chautauqua 2017 Committee.

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