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SED experience nets jobs for some Airmen

An airman from the Missouri Air National Guard and a soldier from the Kansas National Guard drive along federal levee 471-460-R near St. Joseph, Mo., June 20, 2011. The Missouri and Kansas National Guards are providing joint levee patrol on an approximately 10 mile stretch along the Missouri River. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Crane)

An airman from the Missouri Air National Guard and a soldier from the Kansas National Guard drive along federal levee 471-460-R near St. Joseph, Mo., June 20, 2011. The Missouri and Kansas National Guards are providing joint levee patrol on an approximately 10 mile stretch along the Missouri River. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Crane)

An airman from the Missouri Air National Guard and a soldier from the Kansas National Guard drive along federal levee 471-460-R near St. Joseph, Mo., June 20, 2011. The Missouri and Kansas National Guards are providing joint levee patrol on an approximately 10 mile stretch along the Missouri River. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Crane)

An airman from the Missouri Air National Guard and a soldier from the Kansas National Guard drive along federal levee 471-460-R near St. Joseph, Mo., June 20, 2011. The Missouri and Kansas National Guards are providing joint levee patrol on an approximately 10 mile stretch along the Missouri River. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Crane)

Airmen with the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard patrol a levee along the Missouri River in south St. Joseph, Mo., Aug. 10. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Missouri Air National Guard)

Airmen with the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard patrol a levee along the Missouri River in south St. Joseph, Mo., Aug. 10. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Missouri Air National Guard)

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- An Airmen's experience in serving the community here recently paid him in return with a new and promising career in law enforcement.

Last summer, the 139th Airlift Wing activated its members to fend off the rising waters of the Missouri River. Airmen were tasked with everything from filling and laying sandbags, acting as community liaison officers, patrolling levees and monitoring security.

Senior Airman Trenton Schuman, a metals shop technician with the 139th Maintenance Squadron, volunteered his summer to patrol levee monitoring. Activated for state emergency duty (SED) for five months, Schuman was assigned to a protection detail that provided roving and statics patrols along many miles of river levee. Part of the need for levee patrol was due to looting.

"There were problems with people looting cooper and scrap metals," said Schuman. "We were there to keep people off the levee who weren't supposed to be there."

During this time, Schuman and other Airmen on levee patrol worked closely with local law enforcement agencies including the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department. Joe Lysaght, a sheriff with Buchanan County, says the assistance from the Missouri Air Guard was invaluable.

"We didn't have the manpower to do this by ourselves," said Lysaght referring to the 7-days-a-week presence patrols the Airmen performed. "That kid [Schuman] was there every day working with us."

Schuman's military training made him well equipped for this line of work and when his SED orders ended, he got a job offer.

"All the deputies I worked with told me I should try for the academy," said Schuman, who was hired by the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department as a corrections officer in December.

He is currently enrolled in the police academy with hopes of becoming a deputy.

"I'm not too worried about the physical training," said Schuman, who served four years in the Marine Corps before joining the Air National Guard. "I'm used to this."