Agency RSS


FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, Aug. 25, 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. At the request of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed Thursday, September 2, 2021, as Veterans Day at the South Dakota State Fair, calling on all South Dakotans to honor those men and women who fought bravely for our freedoms.


At 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, the South Dakota State Fair will host a “Salute to Veterans” program on the Northwestern Energy Freedom Stage. South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Greg Whitlock will serve as the keynote speaker.


“Whether in peace or at war, the important role of our veterans cannot be denied. They are men and women from all walks of life that have one thing in common – a love for this great country,” said Secretary Whitlock. “No matter where or when veterans have served, they’ve always served with distinction and their service to this country is a bridge that was built on courage, dedication and patriotism.”


Representatives from the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans service organizations, as well as county veterans service officers will have informational booths in the Veterans Building on Flag Avenue throughout the Fair.  Veterans are encouraged to stop by the building and learn more about benefits and programs available to them.


Whitlock especially encourages Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans to stop by and visit with SDDVA staff about disability benefits. Veterans who served as far as 12 nautical miles from the shore of Vietnam, or who had service in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides, such as Agent Orange, and may be entitled to service connection for numerous conditions related to herbicide exposure.


To show appreciation for their service, veterans and active military personnel will receive free gate admission, sponsored by Rowse Rakes, on Sept. 2.


In addition to the Salute to Veterans program, the Red Wilk Construction American Hero Award program will be held during the bull riding Sept. 1 and 2. Since 2013, more than 100 Veterans from all over South Dakota have been honored.


Visit https://www.sdstatefair.com/ for more information on the State Fair.