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AUDIO: Soldiers Honored at Welcome Home Ceremony


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO-AM) - A welcome home ceremony was held Sunday for 14 Soldiers of the 927th Engineer Detachment (Survey and Design Team), South Dakota Army National Guard at the Holiday Inn City Center.  The enginners completed a nine-month deployment to Kuwait and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“We are so thankful to be home,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Kenneth Shoenfelder, 927th commander. “We have made a lot of contributions in Kuwait and Afghanistan. I am very proud of what our Soldiers did and we appreciate everyone’s support.”

The Sioux Falls-based 927th planed, conducted, prepared and provided planning studies and tests for identified engineer work projects for U.S. forces in the region. They also provided guidance, legal descriptions, certification and surveys for engineer projects.

Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, U.S. Sen. John Thune and Maj. Gen. Tim Reisch, the adjutant general of theSDNG, were featured speakers at the ceremony.

“To members of the 927th, welcome home. All these Soldiers have made many sacrifices and Gov. Daugaard and I want to thank each and every one of you,” said Lt. Gov. Michels. “You went above and beyond and you didn’t have to, but you did. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.”

“Thank you for your service, determination, professionalism, courage and sacrifice, and thank you to the families and community who support these Soldiers while they were gone,” said Sen. Thune. “We live in a dangerous world, there are people who want to kill and harm Americans because of who we are, and we have to protect and defend this country. You have all helped to protect this country.”

“You performed a critical mission, and the job you did overseas was outstanding,” said Maj. Gen. Reisch. “The South Dakota National Guard has a tremendous legacy, and the performance of this unit has without a question added to the great legacy of this state.”