Serving in the state Assembly may seem a little like being in a combat zone, but one state representative has some perspective on that after serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the Wisconsin Air National Guard.
Many politicians have visited the troops in the Middle East, but Rep. Scott Suder was one of the troops.
Senior Airman Suder volunteered last November for a 45-day tour with the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing.
"It was a very positive experience. I served with some very fine people not only from Wisconsin but from all over the world."
We were there at the 115th's send off last fall when Suder tried to downplay his job at the Capitol. "I'm like no other individual, no more special than any other individual that's going over there," Suder said last November. " I just happen to have a different type of state job."
Once in Qatar, other members of the 115th knew who he was. "There was some teasing, some individuals that would call me senator."
Rep. Suder doesn't want to be known as Sr. Airman Suderat the Capitol. He doesn't want his National Guard Service to look like a political move. "I serve in two ways, but I try not to use that for political gain if at all possible. I think it's important for me to promote the National Guard wherever possible given the forum I have as a state representative, but not to exploit it."
Rep. Suder says he will use his position in the Assembly to support service members and their families. "I think there are certain things in the legislature we can do to increase that support to make certain they are both appreciated and properly rewarded for their service."
Representative Suder says one thing he did learn while in the Middle East is the importance of sending letters and care packages to the troops.