Dan Maeder wears many hats. While many know him as the former Evans Middle School Principal and the current Superintendent of the Davis County School District, his scope reaches far beyond that.
Maeder has served 25 years in the Iowa National Guard and tonight he was promoted to the position of Lieutenant Colonel.
Friends, family, and fellow Guard members packed into the Ottumwa National Guard Armory the evening to witness Maeder accept this honor.
"This is a great recognition of a career of incredible service to our country," said Todd Jacobus, Iowa National Guard 67th Troop Commander. "It's a combination of Dan Maeder being recognized for his service as a community leader and for doing some incredible work while serving in the Iowa National Guard."
Maeder was quick to deflect recognition instead paying homage to those serving overseas during the holiday season.
"First off, thank you to all the service members and their families that are serving in harm's way during the holiday season." said Maeder. "I feel very fortunate to have the freedoms and liberties we're able to enjoy because of their sacrifices."
Under his new position in the Iowa National Guard, Maeder will be providing mentorship and leadership to 7,225 soldiers like he does to students in the Davis County School District.
Those students are taught life lessons that Maeder has learned throughout his time serving in the military.
Maeder said without the love and support around him, none of this would be possible.
"I think all of us as soldiers could not do what we do without the love and support of our families, friends, and the communities that we serve in," said Maeder. "We're very fortunate to live in the greatest country in the world, and it's because we have great soldiers out there that serve--and we also have terriffic communities that are very supportive of what we do."