Veterans Corner: Tyler Erdman

by Bailey Earls, Layout Editor

November is National Veterans and Military Families Month. Simpson College recognizes and supports military personnel and veterans for their service. This week’s spotlight is sophomore Tyler Erdman.

Erdman is from Van Meter, Iowa and graduated from Van Meter Community School District. In March of 2019, he joined the Iowa Army National Guard. His military occupational specialty (MOS) is 12 November Horizontal Construction Engineer, rank specialist.

My experience with the military has been quite interesting,” Erdman said. “From the beginning, it’s kind of really slow, and you don’t really know what you’re getting into.”

Erdman’s training lasted half a year. At that point, he was not close with his family. During COVID-19 Erdman helped the Food Bank of Iowa transport food all across the state. The transport company began work in April and worked until August.

“We started off by running food out to people in Iowa that needed it,” Erdman said, “The long drives were great though because I worked with good people.”

Later on, the group ended up running testing facilities across the state. They did everything from helping nurses with supplies to guiding traffic.

Erdman originally enlisted so he could go to college.

“I was really scared to go to college and then end up in a bunch of debt and not be able to pay it back,” Erdman said. 

After enlisting, his draw to higher education became much deeper than that. 

“It became more of like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m actually helping the community, I’m actually helping the state do what it needs to do to function,’” Erdman said.  

Erdman studies computer information systems and management. He followed his wife, Lani Cruse, to Simpson. Erdman said he chose Simpson because of the small community environment and the idea that all of his professors would actually know who he is.

For those considering service, the beginning may seem scary; you’re going to be nervous when you go through training because it is a new experience.

“When it’s all finished and over with, and you look back on it, you’re like, ‘Wow, I was actually a completely different person before that experience,’” Erdman said. “You tend to mature a lot really quickly and work really well in a group eventually.”

Erdman said he saw joining the military as not just a new experience but an opportunity as well. If anyone is trying to consider joining the military

“Eventually you meet new people and people are going to want to help you succeed,” Erdman said. “Just like with Simpson, all the professors want to help you, even other students want to help you out; It just all comes together.”

The Simpsonian thanks Tyler for his service.