Senator John Thune
For generation after generation, South Dakotans have proudly answered the call of duty and served our country with honor and distinction.
The service numbers for our state are astonishing to say the least. Approximately 32,000 South Dakotans served in World War I, 65,000 served in World War II, 26,000 in the Korean War, 28,000 in the Vietnam War, and 5,600 in the Gulf War. And, throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, South Dakota National Guard members have been, and continue to be, repeatedly deployed.
These men and women risked, and continue to risk, life and limb for our freedom. Many who return home from war carry physical and emotional scars with them for the rest of their lives.
Veterans make up 17 percent of South Dakota’s population. Many of these men and women served in multiple theaters, signing up again and again, despite injury and trauma.
Veterans throughout our state, particularly disabled veterans, face an array of challenges. These selfless men and women deserve the very best from their country. Whether it is offering a ride to church, mowing their yard, or simply saying ‘thank you’ for their service, South Dakotans are quick to help our state’s veterans.
Let us all to take a moment this Veteran’s Day to show our sincere gratitude to the veterans in our communities. We can never repay the cost of freedom that was earned on our behalf, but we can make sure that our veterans know that we are forever grateful for their service.