Retiring Rep. John Kriesel has found a new calling as the head of Anoka County’s Veteran Services Office.

The Anoka County Board of Commissioners announced Tuesday that it has hired Kriesel, a wounded Iraq War veteran, to head its outreach program. Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, is leaving the legislature after serving one term.

“John Kriesel will lead our service to Anoka County veterans with compassion and empathy,” Anoka County Board of Commissioners Chair Rhonda Sivarajahsaid in a press release Tuesday. “His desire to serve comes from his deep-rooted love of our country and his experience on the battlefield and in recovery. His presence and leadership will help veterans and their families find strength and healing as they work through the issues that arise after leaving military service.”

Kriesel, who enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard on his 17th birthday, lost both legs to a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq in 2006.

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