STURGIS, S.D. — While Veterans Day is Wednesday, November 11, the City of Sturgis got an early start with several groups coming together to show their appreciation.
The gathering was a spin-off of the Rapid City stand-down event geared towards veterans in the Northern Hills, and is meant to provide resources and supplies to both veterans active duty service members. That included free flu shots, resources for housing, loans, education, and, suicide prevention.
There were also special offerings for female veterans, who are, all too often, under-represented.
“We have a lot of female veterans who don’t realize that they can get care at the VA. So for me, it’s very important to be able to do outreach, and get with our veterans, our female veteran population, to try to bring them in and get them the services that they deserve and they earned,” said Jennifer Hataway-Wallace who is the Women Veterans Program Manager of the Black Hills VA.
Goody bags were also given to the service members in attendance, another gesture of thanks to the women and men who have served their nation.
“We want them to know that they’re loved and respected, and we’re proud of them. It hasn’t always been that way, but that’s our message,” said Julie Malcolm, American Legion Auxiliary #164.
Due to COVID-19, the event was held outdoors. Organizers are hoping for an indoor venue with a sit-down dinner next year.