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Drill sergeant's uniform on display

5/7/2014

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Seth Kastle thinks being a drill sergeant is something special.

"I would tell you that being a drill sergeant, I think, was the greatest job in the Army," he said. "I've never done anything that I loved that much.

"The impact that you can see. It's long, hard days and a lot of work, but you're taking someone and turning him into a better person."

Kastle, who was a drill sergeant for the 95th Training Division from 2007 to 2013, recently was honored by having his uniform displayed as part of an exhibit at the 95th Infantry Division Museum at Fort Sill, Okla.

At first, Kastle didn't believe he was being honored.

"It came from one of my friends that had been in contact with Army Public Affairs Office," Kastle said of how he learned his uniform was being selected. "I really thought he was playing a joke on me."

Once Kastle learned it wasn't a prank, he said he was "very honored to be selected."

Kastle and his wife have two daughters, and will be able to see the uniform on display.

"Something that's going to be there forever, that I can have to show my family, based off what I've accomplished in my career," he said.

Kastle, who lives in WaKeeney, graduated from Kensington High School in 1999. He's been in the Army Reserve since 1998 and has served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Kastle, 32, has taught in the Leadership Studies Department at Fort Hays State University since 2012. He will be leaving the Army next month on a medical discharge. When he was 28, Kastle had a heart attack and a pacemaker was implanted.

Kastle, who is a first sergeant with the 361st Medical Logistics Company in Des Moines, Iowa, had hoped to remain in the service. He chooses to look on the bright side of his departure.

"The Army's a tremendous time commitment," he said. "I'm working on my Ph.D. as well, so I have a lot on my plate right now.

"I'm going to take the best of this. It allows me to be at home, be with my daughters more and focus on other things."