Fighting for Country and Beethoven
Reader's Digest US|June 2021
During a stressful time, a National Guardsman still finds a way to lead his class
Sydney Page
SGT. JACOB KOHUT finally had some downtime during his 12-hour shift standing guard outside the U.S. Capitol. He could have spent his lone break napping or cracking jokes with fellow National Guardsmen. Instead, he sat in the back of a Humvee, flute in hand, teaching students via his laptop how to play Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

Kohut, 35, was one of the more than 20,000 troops providing security ahead of then-President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in January. That meant he was on double duty, as an active member of the National Guard and as a dedicated school band teacher.

“I’m a soldier for the Guard, but I’m as much a soldier for music education,” he says.

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