For information, contact: Audry Ricketts at 605-773-8242 or firstname.lastname@example.org (South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs)
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs will be hosting a State Fallen Hero Bridge Dedication Ceremony to honor U.S. Air Force Captain Tommy L. Callies.
The ceremony will be Friday, November 11, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. (CT) at the High School in Howard (500 N. Section Line Street).
The West Fork Vermillion River Bridge on SD HWY 34, east of Howard, will be dedicated to Callies.
On August 1, 1969, Captain Callies was commander of an F-4E aircraft on a strike mission. After releasing his bomb on target over South Vietnam, the aircraft continued in a straight line toward a hill and crashed into the upslope. Captain Callies was listed as Missing in Action for one year and then his status was changed to Killed in Action.
Naming bridges in honor of our combat veterans who died while serving their country is an initiative of Governor Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Departments of Military, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs.
“Whenever and wherever this nation has called, in times of darkness and danger, as well as in times of peace and prosperity, veterans have been there and have proudly carried the torch of liberty for all to see,” said Greg Whitlock, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Our fallen heroes are no longer with us, but their memories live on in the hearts of their loved ones and our state,” said Whitlock. “Naming our South Dakota bridges in honor of our fallen gives us an opportunity of remembrance, reflection, and respect—for honoring the men and women who gave their lives in service to this nation. They cherished liberty and loved freedom enough to lay down their lives to preserve our way of life.”
Note: (pronounced “Ca-lease”)