You may have seen a US Navy member on Memorial Day or at a recent Sioux Falls Pheasants game, but many don't realize there's a Navy Reserve Support Center in Sioux Falls.
On Northview Avenue at the edge of Sioux Falls, you'll find South Dakota's Navy Reserve training on the gravel and grass of the Navy Operational Support Center.
"A lot of people are familiar with the Army because there's Army Guard everywhere, and they kind of go, 'there's a navy reserve center?'” Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Axcom said.
But they're here. The Navy hosts full-time staff and you'll see the reserves once a month.
"The more that we practice in places like this, when we do get overseas and your life depends on it, it's just muscle memory,” Axcom said.
"They are citizen sailors. They do have a full-time life here in the community,” Commanding Officer Tom Simpson said.
The Reserve men and women at the Sioux Falls center hope you'll recognize them as civilians too.
“Having a family here and they don't really understand that when it's time to go, it's time to go. We're reserve, so it's not everyday life,” Axcom said.
They’re just happy they can serve their country at home.
"I grew up around this area and I think being around family and friends, people you grew up with, same values as you, that’s really nice,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Orin Johnson said.
One way those in blue camouflage plan to make themselves more familiar with the public is through Navy Week this July.
"This year the Navy wanted to figure out a way to commemorate The War of 1812. So they decided that anywhere the Navy Blue Angels were scheduled to perform, they would tie in a Navy Week.
The Blue Angels are making an appearance at the Sioux Falls Airshow July 21 and 22, bringing Navy Week to the town for the first time.
Navy Week is being held from July 19 through July 28. Final details and events are still being ironed out, but once they are, you'll be able to find the itinerary on our KELOLAND Events Page.