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South Dakota veterans receive Chapter of the Year Award

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 9:13 PM CST
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WATERTOWN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Northeastern South Dakota Vietnam Veterans Chapter 1054 received national recognition in early November when they were awarded the Chapter of the Year by the Vietnam Veterans of America.

”When you’re the top chapter of 650 chapters in the United States, that’s a pretty good pat on the back,” said Chapter 1054 President Jerry Denman.

Chapter 1054 believes the won the award due to their service to veterans in need.

”Our whole reason for being is to help needy veterans. The funny part of it is we work like heck all year long to raise money and then we give it all away,” said member Phil Braeger.

That money goes toward items such as gift cards for food and wheelchairs for the disabled.

”We’re continually adding members, and I think the reason is because people like to see things being done,” said Braeger.

Any donations Chapter 1054 receives goes back to fellow veterans.

”The question always comes up of ‘Where does your money go?’ and we always say it stays right here. ‘Well, how much goes to administration?’ and we say none,” said Braeger.

Winning Chapter of the Year was a sign of appreciation that these Vietnam veterans take to heart.

”Some of us came back and didn’t get too much of a welcome. But now, we’re very much welcomed,” said Membership Chairman Dennis Solberg.

Chapter 1054 donated $27,000 back to veterans last year and this year, hopes to raise $40,000. To donate to Chapter 1054, visit their website at https://vva.org/tag/chapter-1054/.

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