Four honored at Vets Appeciation Day
Published: Thursday, August 15th, 2013
Four more of Custer’s military heroes were honored at the Custer VFW last Thursday afternoon as part of Custer’s annual Veterans Appreciation Day held in conjunction with Custer Cruisin’.
Following a Veterans Ride that traveled through the Southern Hills, the ceremony to honor the four men—Larry Zimmerman, Charley Najacht, Jeff Baird and Marty Mahrt—began at the VFW. The ceremony began with the singing of the National Anthem by Jeanine Gould, followed by a 21-gun salute by members of the VFWâï¿½ï¿½and Custer American Legion. Following that, Taps was played by Mitchell Snyder, and the crowd moved indoors to hear about the four men receiving the framed certificates.
Zimmerman became the first secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affair Jan. 9. In his position, he serves 70,000 veterans within South Dakota.
Zimmerman served 29 years in the South Dakota National Guard, retiring in January 2013. He completed a tour in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom as the Operations Sargeant Majorâï¿½ï¿½for the nine northern provinces in that country, and before that was Command Sargeant Major in both the 109th Regional Support Group in Rapid City and the 109th Engineering Battalion in Sturgis, along with numerous other positions in the Army National Guard.
Zimmerman was also active duty in the Army from 1973-76 in the 4th Infantry Division out of Ft. Carson, Colo.
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