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SD Bridge to be Dedicated in Honor of U.S. Army SSG Gregory Wagner

FOR RELEASE: Thursday, October 28, 2021


For 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 U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Gregory Wagner.


The ceremony will be Thursday, November 11, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (CT) at the Hanson High School Gymnasium in Alexandria (600 Juniper Street). 


The South Dakota HWY 38 Bridge over the James River east of Mitchell, will be dedicated to SSG Wagner.


Wagner graduated in 1989 from Hanson High School in Alexandria, and soon after enlisted in the South Dakota National Guard.  His unit was deployed to Iraq in October 2005.  On May 8, 2006, he died when his convoy was attacked in a Baghdad neighborhood.


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.”