Casualties, by county, by conflict

The South Dakota Department of Veteran Affairs put out Wednesday morning a listing of dead U.S. soldiers, by name and by county, and by conflict. The department doesn’t claim the listing is complete but suggests the numbers and names are reliable.

South Dakota lost 554 in the World War I era. The number tripled to 1,722 in the World War II era. The Korea era saw 160 die. During the Vietnam era, South Dakota lost 192. The Desert Storm era, that continues today, has seen 36 die.

South Dakota had 67 counties during the Vietnam era. Today there are 66, after Washabaugh was absorbed into Jackson in 1983. Nearly every county lost at least one man during Vietnam, according to the department’s list.

Minnehaha County lost the most men, 25. Pennington County lost 17. Brown County, 13.

As state Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Zimmerman notes in his Memorial Day column for this year, three words — duty, honor, country — form the motto for the men and women who currently serve or did serve in the U.S. armed forces.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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