JOHNSTON, Iowa -- Friends and family from all parts of Brigadier General Randy Warm’s life joined together Saturday at Camp Dodge to give him a very warm sendoff into retired life from the Iowa Army National Guard.
After several decades of service, Warm decided it was time to give someone else the chance to be a leader. His colleagues said he was a wonderful mentor.
“He’s one of those people that you just want to work for him. People will fight and argue to get the chance, the opportunity to work for that type of leader,” Command Chief Warrant Officer Douglas Wyborney said.
Warm said he’s been a part of the Iowa Army National Guard for most of his adult life.
“The biggest memory is my deployment to Afghanistan. I’ve deployed a couple of times to South America. But Afghanistan, where you really had people shooting back at you and you’re responsible for other people’s lives, being able to take care of people and make sure they got home to their loved ones because we did the right thing, that would be the highlight of my career,” Warm said.
Senator Joni Ernst said Warm is a very dear friend and mentor.
“I had an opportunity to go into two different units. And one of the units was the aviation support battalion, and I was struggling with a choice. And of course he has an affinity of fondness for aviation. He sat me down in his office and he said, 'Joni, you need to go to the aviation support battalion. That’s where it is, that’s where you should be,'” Ernst said.
Now that Warm is retired, he plans to continue working as a substitute teacher and spend more time with family.
“We have a place on the Mississippi River up in northeast Iowa and a boat, so we’ll probably spend a lot more time up there now, not just weekends, during the week. We’ll travel on the motorcycle, probably see other places I’ve been in the world, and take my wife so she can see them, too,” Warm said.
Wyborney said for him, Warm’s retirement is the end of an era and a changing of the guard.
“I’ve found nothing more rewarding than being around people that defend the great nation that we live in, and less than one percent of us do that now in the country," he said. "Working with these people to do what the American people need us to do and to do it right and to spend the taxpayers' money the way that it should be spent."