User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


30° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Snow and blowing snow likely in NE KELOLAND, click here for details.

 

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Veterans Get Job Skills, Protect Black Hills Homes

August 15, 2014, 6:03 PM by Kevin Woster

Veterans Get Job Skills, Protect Black Hills Homes
BLACK HAWK, SD -

Fire safety can be a never-ending chore for Black Hills homeowners who live in and near the forest. But forest residents aren't alone in the fight these days.

A cooperative program between federal and state officials helps protect homes in the forest. But it also helps military veterans, including Jackalyn Dillick of Spearfish.

After separate tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dillick struggled to adjust to the world back home.

"I was kind of looking, having a couple problems trying to find the right job, really, just trying to figure out how to get back into life and stuff, or just get back on my feet," Dillick said.

She found a way, with her boots on, in a program that puts military veterans out in the woods and makes homes safer from fire.

The federal Bureau of Land Management works with fire-prevention officials in Black Hills towns and counties on the program. It gives veterans work and training in forest thinning and chain-saw operation that could develop into outdoor careers.

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem toured a work site today and also talked to federal officials about maintaining and improving funding for the program during a period of conflicting spending priorities. She said that while there are many budget priorities, including money the BLM has committed to sensitive species such as the sage grouse out on the prairies, veterans needs and homeowner safety in the woods have to be at the top of the list.

“We certainly want to protect a species, but we want to balance that with common sense, making sure that programs like this that benefit our veterans and keep communities safe are important as well,” Noem said.

Dillick says it's money well spent.

"They take vets, try to help them re-integrate back into the real world, teach them how to be people again, get some job skills, and you also try to get that camaraderie," Dillick said.

Homeowners involved in the program say they like the way it makes their forest look but also the way it makes them feel about their own safety.

Veterans crews thinned trees on Stanley Anderson's land at Black Hawk northwest of Rapid City, making his home safer from fire. And it was easy to get done, he said.

“About a year and a half ago, I was out here working in the yard and I saw some young guys up here marking trees. And I walked over and talked to them to find out what was going on and they told me about this Firewise program,” Anderson said. “And I thought, ‘Well that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.’ And I got a business card and I called the number. And I think it was within a week or two they were out here taking trees out of my backyard.”

The price was right, too, Anderson said.

“They took about 50 trees out of here and I think I paid probably 10 to 20 percent of the bill," Anderson said.

That’s a real deal on safety, and helping out veterans, too. He figures that's a pretty cheap way to buy some safety and help out veterans, too.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Four Dead In Sisseton Shooting

11/22/2014 7:09 AM

South Dakota authorities are searching for a Sisseton man following a shooting early Saturday morning that left four people dead and another person in...

Full Story
UPDATE: Sisseton Homicide Suspect Found Dead In Home

11/22/2014 10:40 AM

Colter Richard Arbach has been located and identified as one of the four people shot and killed this morning in Sisseston.

Full Story
New Charges Filed Against Faith Rasmussen

11/19/2014 4:59 PM

She's already admitted to running a large marijuana ring, now Faith Rasmussen is accused of arranging a deadly robbery.

Full Story
Sisseton In Shock After Shooting

11/22/2014 5:51 PM

It appears a Sisseton man killed three people and injured a fourth before killing himself early Saturday morning, according to the South Dakota A...

Full Story | Watch
Names Of Sisseton Shooting Victims Released

11/24/2014 10:32 AM

Authorities release the names of the people shot to death and hurt in Sisseton over the weekend.

Full Story


Events