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SD Bridge to be Dedicated in Honor of SGT Allen D. Kokesh, Jr.

FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

For more information, contact: Audry Ricketts at 605-773-8242 or audry.ricketts@state.sd.us (South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs)


PIERRE, S.D. The South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs will be hosting a State Bridge Dedication Ceremony to honor Combat Veteran SGT Allen D. Kokesh, Jr.


The ceremony will be held Saturday, October 3, 2020, at 1:00 pm (CT) in front of the Yankton County Court House at 321 W. Third Street.


The east bound James River Bridge on HWY 50 will be dedicated to SGT Allen D. Kokesh, Jr., of Yankton, who died on February 7, 2006, from wounds sustained in combat on December 4, 2005, following a detonation of a roadside bomb in Baghdad.  Kokesh was serving with Battery C, 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery unit based out of Yankton.


Naming bridges in honor of our combat veterans who died while serving their country is a new initiative of Governor Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Departments of Military, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs.


“Whenever and wherever this nation has called, in times of darkness and danger, as well as in times of peace and prosperity, veterans have been there and have proudly carried the torch of liberty for all to see.” said Greg Whitlock, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.


“Our fallen heroes are no longer with us, but their memory lives on in the hearts of their loved ones and our state,” said Whitlock. “Naming our South Dakota bridges in honor of our fallen will give us an opportunity of remembrance, reflection, and respect—for honoring the men and women who gave their lives in service to this nation. They cherished liberty and loved freedom enough to lay down their lives to preserve our way of life.”