Guest Commentary: Honoring our nation’s heroes

By Rep. Kristi Noem

One of the greatest honors I have had as South Dakota's lone representative is to help send off and welcome home the brave men and women of our military. Every time I participate in an activation or a welcome home ceremony, I am reminded just how blessed we are to have so many individuals voluntarily put themselves in danger to protect the freedoms we hold so dear.

Over 72,000 veterans call South Dakota home, and this Veterans Day is an opportunity to say "thank you." Because of these men and women and the countless courageous patriots that came before them, South Dakotans can continue to wake up in the greatest, most free nation in the world. 

That's why it is so important to treat our veterans with the honor and respect they deserve. I have supported legislation that assists veterans in transitioning back to civilian life by providing them with quality health care, education assistance and job development skills. We must keep veterans a top priority, and I intend to continue doing just that in Congress. 

I hope every South Dakotan from Sioux Falls to Rapid City will take time to thank a veteran this Veterans Day for the sacrifices they made for us. In addition, there are a number of events occurring across the state to honor our veterans. I plan to attend a Veterans Day program in Watertown, and I encourage South Dakotans to attend a local event in their community or go to a nearby VA facility to visit with a veteran. 

Our veterans are heroes, and I want to thank each and every one who has answered the call to serve. My office stands ready to assist veterans with any problems they are having with the federal government. Whether they need assistance with benefit claims or need a replacement set of military medals, I encourage veterans to contact one of my offices so we can help. Those needing assistance should visit my website at http://noem.house.gov for more information.

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