United States Army Sargeant First Class Adam Neuschwander will reach two decades of active duty when he retires from the service in February of next year.
Fittingly, ahead of Kid’s Day at Shell Energy Stadium where he will be honored as the Hero of the match, Neuschwander said it is his wife, Andrea, and children, Kyleigh (18), Christopher (15) and Maggie (14), who inspire him each day.
“It’s really my kids and my wife that really push me to become better every single day and challenge me to become better in the military and in my personal life,” Neuschwander said. “Even though my great grandfather helped get me to that point, my kids and my wife helped push that further.”
Military service does run in Neuschwander’s family. His great grandfather, Carl, served in the Army in World War II, while his grandfather, Ernie, served in the navy, both of which he said inspired him to serve his country. Additionally, his older sister, younger brother and both brothers-in-law served in the Army.
In between stints at military bases in the United States and Germany, the Illinois native served three deployments over the course of his career. From 2005-06, Neuschwander was deployed to Pakistan in support of a humanitarian mission when part of the Himalayas collapsed during an earthquake. He was twice deployed to Iraq (2007-08 and 2010-11) as part of the 1-1 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, who were responsible for flying Apache helicopters.
“Germany was awesome,” Neuschwander said of the favorite places he visited. “I travelled around the country during my two years there. My sister lived there, so I was able to see them too. Travelling to Pakistan and seeing their country and the lifestyle in that area by the mountains, it’s just a completely different world. It was enlightening. It was awesome.”
Following his deployments, Neuschwander said he decided to give Army recruiting a try. The job brought him to Houston four years ago after stops in Wisconsin and Alabama, and before long, he discovered a passion for what the role demanded.
“What attracted me is the fact that I can help change somebody’s life like mine has in the Army,” Neuschwander said. “To help them do something different for themselves, their family or a myriad of different reasons. The fact that I can help somebody become who they want to become with the help of the Army as a path to get to their overall goal.”
Neuschwander said he has always been involved in the veteran community, and his commitment did not waver when he arrived in Houston, often volunteering around the city with Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), a nonprofit veteran’s service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. The father of three said he applies what he has learned during his time of service to give back.
“Everybody you meet, you take something away from them, whether good or bad,” Neuschwander said he was told by one of his superiors. “It’s up to you on what you want to take away from that person that you meet.”
Saturday will mark Neuschwander’s first live professional soccer match, a sport he said he has more recently followed through watching the U.S. Men’s National Team and following Wrexham AFC. Even so, he knows there is a lot to look forward to.
“I’m just looking forward to getting out and watching a local sports team,” Neuschwander said. “Just getting out and enjoying the experience with the fans and having some time with the family.”
The Houston Dynamo are proud to honor U.S. Army Sargeant First Class Adam Neuschwander as the Hero of the Match during Saturday’s matchup against Real Salt Lake at Shell Energy Stadium.