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SD Bridge to be Dedicated in Honor of Army SSG Jeremy Vrooman





FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, July 6, 2021

 

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 Army Combat Veteran Staff Sergeant Jeremy Vrooman.

 

The ceremony will be held Saturday, July 17, 2021, at 1:00 pm (CT) at the Sioux Falls Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #1 (9700 E. HWY 42).

 

The South Dakota HWY 42 Bridge east of Sioux Falls and west of Rowena will be dedicated to SSG Vrooman, of Mitchell and Sioux Falls. Vrooman deployed March 2003 to March 2004, and June 2008 to July 2008 in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While serving in Iraq July 15, 2008, Vrooman’s quick thinking and tactical abilities helped members of Palehorse Troop to survive a lethal explosion. Vrooman entered an abandoned building first to secure the area before the rest of the team.  Without hesitation he signaled his team to exit the area and the building exploded.  His sacrifice saved the lives of his troops from the blast, but not his own.

 

Naming bridges in honor of our combat veterans who died while serving their country is an 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.”