South Dakota Veterans To Be Honored By Taiwan's Government

Aug 11, 2017

A map of Taiwan (Republic of China). More than 50 South Dakotans served in the country under a mutual defense treaty.
Credit The CIA World Factbook / U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

A ceremony set for Monday in Pierre will honor more than 50 South Dakota veterans who served in Taiwan during a portion of the Cold War.  

Officials from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office will present the US-ROC Mutual Defense Commemorative Badge to thank the 52 veterans for their service to the East Asian nation.

The veterans served there between 1955 and 1979. During that time, American soldiers served in a peace-keeping role under a mutual defense treaty.

This helped Taiwan defend itself from potential threats.  

Larry Zimmerman is South Dakota’s secretary of veterans affairs. He says it’s been an honor to work with Taiwanese officials to coordinate the event.

“The governor and I, representatives from Taiwan, will be there to give a medal to those veterans that served in that country in those time frames. The prerequisites if you will aren’t set by South Dakota or even our DoD, they are set by the government of Taiwan for those folks that had boots on the ground there during those years," Zimmerman says. 

Taiwan is also known as the Republic of China. Zimmerman says the Taiwanese delegation will also meet the State’s 62 veterans service officers and see the State Capitol while in Pierre. The ceremony starts at 1 p.m. Monday at the Ramkota Conference Center.