By Sen. John Thune
An issue I frequently discuss with folks while I’m traveling the state is the wide range of services I can offer to South Dakotans through any of my Senate offices. It doesn’t matter if you contact my office in Sioux Falls or Rapid City, Aberdeen or Washington, D.C., my staff is the best of the best. They’re always ready, willing, and able to help you any way they can. Although my offices mainly assist South Dakotans with federal issues, if your concern relates to something that falls to the state or your local government, my staff will help point you in the right direction. Either way, we’re all here to serve you.
Spring break is always a popular time to visit Washington, D.C., and I see a lot of South Dakota families and students who travel there each year. As most folks may know, I can help you arrange tours of certain federal buildings while you’re in town, including the Capitol and White House. My office can help with other elements of your trip, too, like offering advice on where to stay or other places to visit around the city.
Wherever you might be, when it comes to problems you’re having with federal government agencies, I want to help you cut through the federal bureaucracy. My office can act as a liaison between you and the government to get questions answered and hopefully get your problem resolved. For example, if you’re a South Dakota veteran with medical needs and you’re having difficulties with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or if you’re a South Dakota senior and you’re having trouble receiving your Social Security benefits, we can certainly try to help.
Are you traveling abroad on short notice? I can help expedite the passport approval process if you need to renew one for you or a family member, apply for a new one, or have an existing passport corrected. Anyone who has gone through the standard passport process will tell you that it isn’t quick, but if your request is urgent, my office can try to work to reduce the wait time.
If a friend or family member is having a milestone event in his or her life, such as a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or retirement, I can help you recognize it. With several weeks’ notice, you can purchase a U.S. flag through my Senate website (at cost), and I can have it flown atop the Capitol on a particular date in honor of your event. After it’s flown, the flag and a certificate will be mailed to you or a recipient of your choice. With similar notice, I’m happy to mail a congratulatory letter directly to your loved one ahead of his or her big day.
We can also try to help veterans receive medals or awards that are long overdue, students who are interested in attending a service academy, or families who are pursuing international adoptions, among many other services.For questions on these or other services, please feel free to call or visit any of my offices throughout South Dakota or in Washington, D.C. You’ll always be greeted by a friendly face or voice, and they will be glad to assist you. If it’s outside of regular business hours, don’t worry, my website is always open! Visit www.thune.senate.gov on your computer or mobile device for contact information and additional resources about my work in South Dakota and Washington.