However, Jergens — who first became a Trigg County resident in 1994 — retired as a Colonel in 2001, and has been making up for lost time.
“I always wanted to be involved in the community,” he said, but having the “life of a vagabond, [I] didn’t really have a chance.”
Jergens, a registered nurse, began calling the Rockcastle area home upon his retirement from Ft. Campbell’s 86th Combat Support Hospital. He is currently a member of the Trigg/Lyon Volunteer Fire Department and also serves on its board of directors.
He taught as a substitute in the Trigg County School System for three years and now subs for the Caldwell County Area Technology Center. He is also a 4-H volunteer.
“How better can you really get involved in the community,” he said of teaching.
Jergens’ experience with teaching predates his retirement from the Army. He said much of his time in the Army was spent in instructional roles and he has also served as an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Nursing at South Dakota State University (for his part, Jergens was taught at Ohio State University and the University of Colorado, where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, respectively).
Working with children, Jergens hopes to impart the values of a good work ethic and responsibility — qualities he hopes to bring with him to fiscal court.
In addition, Jergens said he’d bring with him several skills he learned in the Army, such as: long-term planning (“You certainly learn that in the Army.”), tough-decision making (“What aren’t you going to do.”) and politics (“Where you learn to communicate and negotiate with people.”).
The Army is political, Jergens said, and requires those who serve in “key staff positions” to make allies, to avoid making enemies and to be persuasive.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.