842nd returns home safely
After waiting for around two hours at the BHSU campus for the latecomers to arrive, cheers met the three buses of the returning soldiers of the National Guard 842nd Engineering Companywhen they pulled into the parking lot last Thursday. Tears of joy and smiles overflowed when families and friends greeted the soldiers.
Around 1500 family, friends and community members joined the soldiers for a barbecue beef sandwich dinner on the football field with much visiting taking place.
The deactivation ceremony took place inside the Donald E. Young Center. Dignitaries, including Gov. Daaugard, US Senator Thune and US Congress- woman Noem acknowledged the work this group did in Afghanistan, thanked the men and women of the unit and welcomed them home.
Their commander said that the activation this time was different than their last deployment; this time they were separated into three units, all going to different areas of the region and doing different jobs. Of the 160 members, it was the first deployment for 113 of them, for the others it was their 2nd, 3rd or even 4th time.
After the welcomes, roll call was taken and each member responded and stood at attention, then the group was deactivated and are now regular National Guardsmen again.
Following the ceremony, the group paraded through Spearfish, Whitewood, Belle Fourche and Sturgis where they were welcomed home by spectators along the route.
Among the 160 members in the unit, from our area or with local family ties are: Doyle Udager, Matthew Vig, Eric Flatmoe, Kirk Hulm, and Derek Austin.
It was a great day for all! Welcome home 842nd and thank you for your service!!