NEWELL-Rep. Dusty Johnson made appearance in Newell in late August to present local Vietnam Vets with honors that included a Challenge Coin with the seal of South Dakota on one side and the seal of the US House on the other. He also presented the vets with a lapel pin with an eagle to show strength and a laurel wreath to signify integrity.
Johnson said that he had held several of these ceremonies across South Dakota to honor anyone who has served the country. The uniqueness of the crowd showed a fine sense of community, he said, in South Dakota.
He looked each vet in the eye as he presented them with the Challenge Coin and thanked them for their service. Many of the men mentioned that it was far different than when they came home after serving in Vietnam.
One vet told of the time when he waited at the airport for a flight home. There was one seat open, but the airline personnel waited for nearly half an hour for someone else to fill the seat before finally allowing him to come aboard. A much different scene than what is seen today. Rep. Johnson has honored around 1000 vets in South Dakota.