Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune (R-SD) today issued the following statement regarding the recommendation from Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey that Master Sergeant Woodrow W. Keeble be posthumously awarded the nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, for his brave service during the Korean War. Keeble, who was a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe, would be the first Dakota Sioux to receive the Medal of Honor if it is approved.

"This past weekend, Americans paused to commemorate the lives and legacies of our nation's bravest-the men and women who have fought and sacrificed for our freedoms from the first days of our Revolution to the front lines of the War on Terror," Thune said. "It is only fitting that during this Memorial week, after many years of delay, one of our nation's most heroic soldiers has finally been officially recommended to receive the Medal of Honor for his efforts in the Korean War.

"Master Sergeant Woodrow W. Keeble served with bravery and dignity, going beyond the call of duty not for notoriety or recognition-but for the mission he believed in and the country he loved. Keeble's legacy is a great source of pride for his family, his fellow Dakota Sioux, and all Americans. The Secretary of the Army's recommendation is wonderful and long-awaited news. I began working with Master Sergeant Keeble's family and tribal officials on resolving this long overdue issue in the spring of 2002, and I will continue to work with Defense officials to ensure that this legendary soldier receives the final and most distinguished honor he deserves."

Then-Representative Thune first requested Master Sergeant Keeble's Distinguished Service Cross be upgraded to the Medal of Honor in a letter to the Secretary of the Army on May 17, 2002. This week's recommendation by Secretary Harvey must be approved by the Secretary of Defense and the President. Senator Thune is sending letters of support to both Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush this week.