Jennifer R Barnard

Kingsbury county | auditor

About Me

Who is Jennifer Barnard? For you to know that, I need to tell you how I was shaped. To make a long story short...

I grew up in a military home, as Jennifer Arnold. My father is retired from the Air Force after serving 22 years. The longest I have ever lived in one town is 10 years, from the tender age of 2 -12, which is very unusual for a military family. I spent my 6th-9th grade years in California, enjoying the beaches, having my first boyfriend, and riding in the car through wine country. Just before my Freshman year of High School ended, my father retired, and went to school to become a Methodist Minister, and we moved to Missouri.

We moved to Kansas City, and I spent my Sophomore year at an inner city school. This was not the best experience, so we moved to a smaller town close to my dad's student pastoral churches. I met the man, who would eventually become my husband, during my Senior year, at my third High School. I didn't think he was the marrying type, at the time, and became engaged to another guy. Luckily, that did not work out.

When Shane and I got married, some 4 years later, he had joined the Army. He did not have the best unit to work with (not everyone gets along with their co-workers), and he was never deployed. He felt like he was only practicing his job. When it came time to "re-up", he requested to cross train to another job, and he was not able to, so he got out. Our first daughter was 7 months old.

Of the next 10 years, we spent the first 4 in San Antonio, where I worked as a car hop for Sonic, in an eatery in a local K-Mart, and as an inbound call center lead. We then spent 1 year in Huston. During this time I work, through a temp agency, for City Hall and the Sheriff's office in a small suburb, and then as a receptionist for an insurance agency. We had our second daughter during this time, and Shane resigned from his Supervisor job with K-Mart. (He had the BEST timing...).

I was able to obtain a job near my parents, so the girls and I moved to De Smet, SD, and Shane stayed in Texas long enough to sell our house. During this time, I found out that I was 13 weeks pregnant. This was very odd to me, because I knew I was pregnant with the girls at 2 weeks. I felt different.... and I never had that this time. Keep in mind, my baby was 4 1/2 months old when I had this revelation.

Five years after we moved to De Smet, in 2005, Shane decided to re-enlist in the Army. He was 33 years old, and wanted to help the "kids" getting hurt in the War on Terror. I was, and am, immensely proud of him.

We kept our house in De Smet, and his brother rented it while we adjusted. In June of 2005, the kids and I joined Shane in Virginia, while he was a medic working at the Pentagon. He wanted to deploy so badly, and volunteered to join a unit "going to the sandbox" twice, and was told no. So, he cross trained to Explosive Ordinance Disposal in May of 2007, and graduated from training in June of 2008. During this time the kids and I moved back to South Dakota.

In July of 2008, we reported to Fort Lewis, Washington. The following March, Shane's unit deployed to Iraq, and were back that September. Ten members of our Unit volunteered to join a smaller Unit out of Yakima, WA, that November, and Shane was one of them. That Unit deployed in March of 2010, and Shane was killed on May 19th, while defusing an IED. He stepped on a plate, and instead of calling his team, he saved them and the group they were with, by stepping off of it.

In 2014, I was introduced to a group of volunteers who create retreats for military widows, and care givers of wounded warriors. Her War / Her Voice, and the EOD Warrior Foundation have come together for the purpose of helping of these men and women. My first interaction was as an attendee of one of these retreats, which is anything but a relaxing, spa retreat. I have now completed the training, and am one step away from being a leader for this group.

So, who is Jennifer Barnard?? I am a...
Military Brat
Minister's Kid
Military Wife and Military Widow
Loving mother
Elected Official and dedicated employee
Fierce Friend
But mostly, I am an individual, with many life experiences that have molded me into who I am today. I am flexible to the possibility of future events changing who I am, as well.

I enjoy kayaking, jigsaw puzzles, traveling with my kids, lending a hand, and making people smile. I have recently taken up acting in our community theater, and an enjoying something new.

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