On Veterans Day we honor those who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces. It’s also a day where South Dakota send soldiers on their next mission.

In Parkston and in Huron, activation ceremonies were held for the members of the 153rd Engineer Battalion of the South Dakota National Guard.

Unit Commander, Captain Mark Rieger explained to Jerry Oster of WNAX News the roller-coaster ride this day brings.

“I’m happy, but at the same time I’m anxious about leaving my family. I know the men and women in the 153rd are ready for this deep down inside.”

Once Governor, now Senator Mike Rounds noted the generational aspect of service in the South Dakota Guard.

“I think back to 2003 when I first started coming to these deployment ceremonies the young men and women who are deploying here today were in Kindergarten then. We have another generation of young people that are stepping up and volunteering their time, effort and themselves. The least the rest of us can do is to thank them and let them know that we care about them and their families.”

Before embarking on the mission to provide support for engineering units stationed in Kuwait, the 153rd will prepare for a few weeks in Texas at Fort Bliss.

Back in June, the Mitchell Daily Republic reported that for the Parkston support company it’s their first deployment. However the engineer battalion was sent in 2004 and 2005 to assist with Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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