The Fourth of July is a holiday we set aside to celebrate our nation's freedom. No one knows what that means more than our men and women in the military who have made huge sacrifices.
Tuesday, one such KELOLAND soldier was presented with one of the highest medals in the country for his service and another medal that's trying to right an embarrassing wrong.
South Dakota Senator John Thune presented retired Sergeant Major Rob Dickerson of Sioux Falls with the Legion of Merit medal; the sixth highest decoration a person can receive in the military.
"I'm very humbled. I don't think I did anything extraordinary to tell you the truth. I just did what I loved doing and did my job," Dickerson said.
Dickerson, who served 29 years in the military and two tours in Iraq, was blown up and seriously injured by a rocket that exploded 15 feet from him.
Senator Thune re-presented Dickerson with a Purple Heart. If you remember, KELOLAND News first told you how his first one was delayed by paperwork. And when it was finally approved it was delivered in the mail.
Thune apologized to Dickerson for the way it was handled and thanked Dickerson for his sacrifices.
"The Purple Heart is something you never want to get, never. No one wants to get injured or killed in war. But it reminds me everyday of the people I did lose in combat," Dickerson said.
Wednesday, our nation will pause to celebrate our independence and remember our men and women in uniform. But for Dickerson he's reminded of that everyday.
"There's not a day that goes by I don't say my prayers for them and have them on my mind; never want them to be forgotten because of the sacrifices they are making for our nation," Dickerson said.
Dickerson now speaks to soldiers and other military personnel who return from war to help them get adjusted back into civilian life.