Representative Eldon Nygaard, of District 17 (Clay/Turner), was honored with Legislative Commemoration (HC 1006) for his volunteer legal work for veterans. The commemoration sponsored by 96 legislators read in part: "WHEREAS Representative Eldon Nygaard has provided excellent pro bono representation for veterans appeals cases before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in Washington, D.C., in 2006; and WHEREAS, Representative Nygaard has played an important role in the success of the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program's mission of providing free legal assistance to veterans in claims before the special court in Washington, D.C.: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT COMMEMORATED, by the Eight-second Legislature of the State of South Dakota, that Representative Eldon Nygaard has been recognized for his efforts to advance the rights of veterans with a letter of appreciation and award from the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program."
Nygaard continues to be active in his representation of veterans. He is scheduled to present an oral argument on a veterans claim before the U.S. Court of Veterans Claims in Washington, DC. March 21.
Rep. Nygaard is a veteran himself. He is a retired CW-4 Army Aviator who was shot down four times in Vietnam and wounded once. His service didn't stop there. He continues to advocate veterans' rights as a South Dakota State Representative. Just today SB 96, a disabled veterans bill he prime-sponsored in the House, passed and will soon arrive on the Governor's desk. Working with Sen. Mac McCracken on the other side of the aisle (Republican), they were able to secure property tax relief for 100 percent disabled veterans on the first $100,000 of accessed value of the veteran's home. This will affect approximately 600 disabled veterans in South Dakota.
Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Nygaard said, "Senate Bill 96 will recognize in a small but substantive way the contribution and sacrifice those South Dakota veterans gave while serving their country."