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Public invited to attend Armed Forces Day ceremonies

The Military & Veterans Affairs Committee of the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual Armed Forces Day program on Saturday, May 18. The program will take place at 10 a.m. at the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance, located at 1600 W. Russell St.

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank military members for their patriotic service in support of the country. On Aug. 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.

The 2024 Armed Forces Day ceremony features a keynote address from Andrea Thompson, CEO of the Dakota State Applied Research Corporation. Thompson served for over 25 years in the U.S. Army, including combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. She also served as the National Security Advisor to the Chairman, House Homeland Security Committee, and the Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The event includes a formal military program and an Avenue of Flags Ceremony. “Stars & Stripes” awards will be presented to JD’s House of Trophies for proudly fly the American flag year-round. Outstanding Achievement Awards will be presented to selected guardsmen/women and reservists for outstanding military achievement and commitment to their country and community. This year’s recipients are:

  • Master Sergeant Chad D. Westrum; U.S. Army Reserve
  • Petty Officer Third Class Damian Adornonegron; U.S. Navy Reserve
  • Staff Sergeant Robert D. Frahm; South Dakota Army National Guard
  • Staff Sergeant Elise Carda; South Dakota Air National Guard

Oath of Enlistment Ceremonies will induct South Dakota volunteers into the U.S. Armed Forces.