PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Soldiers of the South Dakota National Guard’s 152nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion were welcomed back to Pierre yesterday with a parade through town and an hour long ceremony at Riggs High School. The unit’s 68 members served in Afghanistan about four months. They arrived in Fort Hood, Texas a week ago and flew into Pierre Tuesday. The group was paraded through parts of Pierre in pickups driven by family members and volunteers. They were greeted by cheers, singing, applause and signs as they passed by those gathered along Pierre streets.
At an afternoon ceremony, Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill welcomed the unit home on behalf of the Capital City and thanked members and their families for their sacrifices.
Major General Timothy Reisch, Adjutant General of the SDNG told the group that their personal sacrifices have not gone without notice and said that he is extremely proud of the unit-whose members range in age from 19-57-years-old.
Governor Dennis Daugaard said that he’s been to a number of welcome home events for soldiers and that Pierre does a great job of them-with yellow ribbons, ceremonies and parades. He said that Tuesday brought a homecoming, a Thanksgiving and a celebration and told the unit that they are South Dakota’s best.
Lt. Colonel Michael Oster, who commands the 152nd, told the crowd that the unit set goals before it deployed and those goals were accomplished. Going forward, he told the soldiers now that they’re home to find a purpose for each day as they did while in Afghanistan, to follow through with commitments they made while deployed and to pray for those still actively serving. The unit has a short five year history and only 12 of its members are from the Pierre area. Oster said he believes the unit is becoming an equal partner to the Pierre based 200th Engineer Company in the community.
Following a roll call and publishing of the order, the event wrapped up and included a receiving line, in which the audience filed past each member of the 152nd and shook the soldiers hands.
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