South Dakota is home to more than 50,000 veterans, 3,100 National Guard and Ellsworth Air Force base sevice men and women. Dan's grandfather is a WWII veteran and his brother currently serves in the U.S. Army. It’s important to him that our country keeps its promises to our veterans and delivers the care and benefits they have earned through their service.
During Dan's time as a state legislator, he had numerous veterans tell him about being denied access to veteran health care benefits. His brother, who recently retired, talks about the difficult approval process he is currently navigating in order to have access to veteran health. There is an urgent need for improvement.
As a state legislator, Dan was a leader in helping pass the state's investment in the South Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Sioux Falls. The South Dakota Veterans Cemetery is the first federally funded, state-owned, and operated, veterans cemetery in South Dakota. Today, South Dakota Veterans in the eastern part of the state have and option for their final resting place.
From the G.I. Bill to the VA, Dan understands that we need veterans’ services to work for our changing veteran population. This includes aging and injured veterans who need prompt, quality health care, and young veterans who need access to mental health. We also need a better program to help veterans translate the skills they learned from their service into a good-paying job.
There needs to be an increased accountability at the VA with a focus on each individual veteran, not the paperwork. Every veteran has taken risks and made sacrifices in service to our country, and he won’t rest until they get what they have earned.
Dan will work across the aisle to ensure that nothing stands in the way of keeping our military strong and our country safe. From Ellsworth Air Force Base to our 3,100 National Guard soldiers, South Dakota plays a critical role in our national security strategy and the federal investment in our military assets plays a critical role in South Dakota’s economy. As a state legislator, Dan helped secure the funding for the Ellsworth Authority and improvement projects that allowed Ellsworth to become the first base to receive the new B-21 bomber. Dan is committed to protecting Ellsworth Air Force Base and its place in America’s national security strategy.
Coming from a family with a history of military service, a degree in International Relations and legislative experience, Dan knows the value of diplomacy. Dan will work with our allies and partners to face our shared threats. He will work to ensure that South Dakota and its service men and women maintain a key role in our national defense strategy.