Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today co-sponsored a bill to authorize the president to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to Master Sergeant Woodrow Keeble for his brave service during the Korean War. Master Sergeant Keeble, who was a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe, would be the first Dakota Sioux to receive the Medal of Honor. Keeble also fought in World War II.

"For nearly five years now, I have been working to get Master Sergeant Woodrow Keeble the award he so valiantly earned. Master Sergeant Keeble was a hero who served with bravery and dignity. He went beyond the call of duty not for a medal, but for the mission he believed in and the country he loved," said Thune. "Master Sergeant Keeble's legacy is a great source of pride for his family, his fellow Dakota Sioux, and all Americans."

On approximately October 15, 1951, in the vicinity of Kumsong, North Korea, all of the officers of the G Company were either wounded or killed during enemy combat. Master Sergeant Keeble voluntarily led the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Platoons in three successful assaults. Armed with grenades and a rifle, Keeble then single handedly eliminated three four-man pillboxes. Keeble was severely wounded with at least five separate injuries to his chest, both arms, and both legs. Master Sergeant Keeble was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star First Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart with the Oak Leaf Cluster. He was recommended for the Medal of Honor, but never received it.

While serving in the House of Representatives, 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. Since that time, Senator Thune has continued to work with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, the Department of Defense and other officials to properly recognize the valor of one of our country's true heroes.