You have a chance to honor a group of extraordinary Sioux Falls service people today (July 1), 3:30 PM,  at the Elmen Center on the Augustana University campus.

This welcome home ceremony for the South Dakota National Guard's 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade is open to everyone. It is a wonderful opportunity to show appreciation for this group of soldiers who've been away from home for quite a while.

The 196th has been stationed in a strategically important area on the northeast coast of the Horn of  Africa, at the mouth and just south of the Red Sea, "a key international shipping lane. The base is a launchpad for counterterrorism strikes and anti-piracy operations."

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The soldiers are returning home after serving on a 10-month deployment to Djibouti in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, where the unit has been conducting operations to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional security and stability, dissuade conflict, and protect U.S. and coalition interests in the region.

Governor Kristi Noem will be speaking, as will Major General Jeff Marlette (South Dakota National Guard Adjutant General), and Colonel David Dailey, the commander of the 196th.

The soldiers have actually been back in the U.S. since June 24th, "completing demobilization requirements at Fort Hood, Texas".

So bring your family, bring your friends, and bring your love of the U.S. and the people who make it possible for us to live freely in this country. It is a wonderful chance to explain to your kids exactly what Independence Day is all about.

Remind yourself- -today, July 1st, 3:30 PM in the Elmen Center at Augie.

Sources: South Dakota National Guard Public Affairs Office, South Dakota National Guard Facebookand Foreign Policy 

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