The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Veteran Samual House

Lieutenant Colonel · U.S. Army · Operation Enduring Freedom


Samuel House (Sam) is from Tilden, Nebraska. Sam wanted to be in the U.S. Army. He had researched some items that might be in his future, including joining early. He learned that the National Guard had an option that appealed to him. It was called the split-option enlistment. On completion of his junior year in high school, he could go to basic training and complete it during the summer. After graduating high school, he could resume active duty and complete his advanced training.

Sam took advantage of this program. After passing the required items, he was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia to undergo Basic Combat Training (BCT) at the installation that is the "Home of Infantry". The Nebraska National Guard had done a good job of preparing the new recruits about what to expect. There were Drill Sergeant Heinz and First Sergeant Lopez. Both of these NCO's had a lot of influence on the recruits.

Sadly, within a month of starting BCT, Sam was notified through the Red Cross that his mother was in a critical stage with regard to her health. The Red Cross message urged Sam to make arrangements to go back to Tilden very soon. He was allowed this privilege and returned to Nebraska to see his mother for her last moments. He remained in Tilden for a week then returned to Fort Benning.

Luckily for Sam, the BCT cadre allowed him to re-engage with his original platoon so that he could train and finish BCT with them. The training was good and thorough, and in August of that year Sam marched across the parade field as a member of a platoon that was graduating.

Sam returned to Tilden for his senior year. He had matured quite a bit and had experiences no other in the area had at his age. Sam continued to drill with his National Guard unit during the year. On graduating from high school, he went back on active duty to complete Advanced Individual Training (AIT). The schooling was at Fort Benning. Sam was familiar with the place.

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