2018 Senate Commemoration 53 - Enrolled


Introduced by:    Senators Heinert, Cronin, Curd, Ewing, Frerichs, Greenfield (Brock), Haverly, Kennedy, Killer, Klumb, Kolbeck, Langer, Maher, Nelson, Nesiba, Netherton, Novstrup, Partridge, Rusch, Soholt, Solano, Sutton, Tidemann, White, Wiik, and Youngberg and Representatives Bordeaux, Bartling, Beal, Clark, Dennert, Hawley, Heinemann, Johnson, McCleerey, Rasmussen, Ring, Rozum, Schoenfish, Smith, Steinhauer, Tulson, Turbiville, and Wiese

        A LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATION, Celebrating the memory and homecoming of Sergeant Philip James Iyotte and honoring him for his selfless service and ultimate sacrifice during the Korean War.

    WHEREAS, Sgt. Iyotte was born in White River in Mellette County and given the Lakota name Akicita Isnala Najin, which means "soldier who stands alone"; and

    WHEREAS, after joining the Army in 1948, Sgt. Iyotte's battalion was one of the first battalions deployed in 1950 at the onset of the Korean War; and

    WHEREAS, Sgt. Iyotte was wounded on September 2, 1950, but, unable to be kept from the fight, returned to the front line less than three weeks later; and

    WHEREAS, Sgt. Iyotte was captured in the line of duty by the Chinese and held captive in a North Korean POW camp, where he ultimately died; and

    WHEREAS, for sixty-six years Sgt. Iyotte's remains were unable to be identified and, as such, Sgt. Iyotte was unable to return home to his family; and

    WHEREAS, Sgt. Iyotte has received a number of medals to honor his selfless service, including the Purple Heart with the Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Prisoner of War Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal; and

    WHEREAS, Sgt. Iyotte is survived by his sister, Eva Iyotte, who has worked tirelessly to ensure that Sgt. Iyotte returns home; and

    WHEREAS, the Army announced in August of 2017 that they were able to positively identify Sgt. Iyotte's remains and after sixty-six years of uncertainty, Sgt. Iyotte would finally be allowed to return home, and the "soldier who stands alone" will be alone no longer:

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT COMMEMORATED, by the Ninety-Third Legislature of the State of South Dakota, that Sergeant Philip James Iyotte's return home be celebrated and that he be recognized for making the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty during the Korean War.

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