Funeral services set for Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan

Funeral services for Spc. Dennis G. Jensen, a South Dakota Army National Guard Soldier accidentally killed in Afghanistan, have been set for this week.

Jensen�s funeral ceremony will be held on Thursday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m. (CST) at the United Church of Christ in Yankton at 218 West 5th Street. Jensen�s body will be interned on Friday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. (MST) at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

Jensen, 21, of Sioux Falls, was serving with the 200th Engineer Company when he died in a non-combat related accident Aug. 16. Jensen died from injuries suffered while working with bridge materials near Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.

Jensen awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon.

Jensen was born Oct. 9, 1989 and was a 2009 graduate of Vermillion High School. Jensen enlisted into the Guard on May 16, 2008 as a member of the 211th Engineer Company of Madison and De Smet where he served as a combat engineer. Jensen volunteered to deploy with the 200th in May as a bridge crew member in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

This was his first deployment.

The accident happened at approximately 9 a.m. Afghanistan time, when Jensen was struck by two steel bridge decking panels, which fell from a fork lift after a securing strap broke.

Jensen was immediately transported to Bastion Airfield Hospital after the accident where he was pronounced dead at approximately 9:30 a.m. Jensen was wearing all appropriate safety gear during the time of the accident. The accident remains under investigation.

The 200th is a multi-role bridging company headquartered in Pierre with detachments in Mobridge and Chamberlain. The unit deployed for a one-year mission to maintain, repair and replace existing military bridges throughout Afghanistan.

Jensen is survived by his mother, Christine Bestgen of Lead, and father, Glenn Jensen of Yankton and sister Melissa Jensen of Minneapolis, MN.

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