SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A bittersweet ceremony to bid these soldiers a farewell and wish them luck on their next mission.
“I think it’s an opportunity for the community to come out and support members of our South Dakota National Guard who, seems like, get called up all the time to different places and this particular place to the southern border,” U.S. Senator John Thune (R) said.
Members of the 1742nd Transportation Company of the South Dakota National Guard are headed to the southern border following a request from the Pentagon. They will be deployed for 9 to 12 months.
“It is a clear national crisis and I’ve been calling it that for a long time. I’m very grateful that the Pentagon, that this administration, has finally stepped forward and acknowledged that they do not have this under control,” U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R) said.
“So, they’re going to go down there, try and reinforce the border, bring some order and stability and obviously do it in a humanitarian and compassionate way,” Thune said.
Johnson and Thune attended the ceremony alongside Senator Mike Rounds, Governor Kristi Noem, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken and Flandreau Mayor Dan Sutton.
“We want them to know that we have their back,” Johnson said. “We understand that they’re going to be sacrificing a lot, their families are going to be sacrificing a lot over the next year. But we’re going to do the kind of things that we can do in Washington to make sure that they have the proper training, the proper equipment, but also in our communities to make sure their families are taken care of during the difficult time.”
In July Noem sent 50 South Dakota soldiers to the border following Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s request for help.