This summer OneV had the pleasure of sitting down with Scott Rounds – a veteran of the Iraq War and former member of the South Dakota National Guard – whose personal story epitomizes what OneV represents.
A Native of Pierre, South Dakota, Scott is currently a Housing Development Officer at the South Dakota Housing Development Authority – a state agency that utilizes federal and state resources to fund housing programs for moderate to low-income families. While serving as a Personnel Officer for his battalion in Iraq, Scott led 350 soldiers in casting absentee ballots for the 2004 presidential election.
Scott is a member of an esteemed political family. His brother, Tim, is a State Senator, and his brother, Mike, is a former Governor of the state and current U.S. Senator.
While there’s much to be told about Scott’s job, admirable military service and the public service of his family, his experience with voting makes Scott’s story perfect for OneV.
The following are quotes from Scott from our interview:
On his motivation to serve in the military:
“The motivation for service is really just something that my dad taught our family…he taught us that you give back to your country…this is a great nation… we have to defend what we have.”
On his experience motivating his fellow servicemen/women cast absentee ballots while serving:
“It took a lot of time but it was a great opportunity…especially for a lot of them, it’s their first chance to vote because they’re 18, 19 years old and then called to war…this is your (soldiers) opportunity… to vote for people that are elected to send you over here and ask you to do the jobs that you’re being asked to do…we thought it was just a great thing to do…it was a great opportunity and I think a lot of soldiers learned about what was going on.”
On the importance on voting:
“I don’t care who you vote for, just make sure you go vote. If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain.”
“It’s what makes America great…your vote in America is a lot different than votes in other countries…you have an option…you may not like the candidates…your vote is counted…”
“If you don’t vote, you’re letting other people decide your future.”
“Learn the issues and then get out and vote.”
“That’s what is so great about this country, we can change…and we do it peacefully.”
“If you don’t go out and exercise that right to vote, you can lose it someday…you have to cherish that right.”
OneV looks forward to continue sharing other quintessential OneV stories.