SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



Click here to read the personal stories of those
South Dakotans who gave their life for our freedom
during the Vietnam War.

About the Author

Sheila Hansen

This is a tribute to Sheila Hansen, the woman responsible for working with South Dakota students to create a series of biographical profiles which have honored over 2,000 WWII  and 189 Korean War casualties.

Sheila is currently working throughout the South Dakota school system to coordinate biographical details on over 207 Vietnam War casualties.


Sheila Hansen

Sheila Groft Hansen, daughter of Marlin and Marilyn Groft, is a fifth-generation South Dakotan, raised on a family farm near Redfield. She graduated from Redfield High School and from The University of South Dakota in Vermillion, as did her three brothers: Gordon, Travis, and Derek. She has taught in the Spearfish School District since 1989, first as a middle school English teacher and now as the middle school librarian and information literacy teacher. Sheila and her husband, David, a farm boy from Cresbard, have two children, Slade and Justice. 


The birth of her children and a trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1995 and to sites of former concentration/death camps in Europe in 1997 helped Sheila develop a more global perspective for her eighth grade English classroom. As a result, in 1999 she and her students created an authentic research and writing project, Fallen Sons and Daughters of South Dakota in WW II, where students started to transform an impersonal list of names into a highly personal series of biographical profiles to honor South Dakota’s casualties of WW II. In May of 2001, Sheila accepted an offer from then-Gov. William Janklow, to take a year’s leave of absence to complete the project. Therefore, during the 2001-2002 school year, Sheila served as the project’s state coordinator, working with teacher volunteers implementing the Fallen Sons project in 61 schools across South Dakota.





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Photos courtesy of the U.S. Army, the National Archives and Records Administration,
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in conjunction with the Vietnam War Memorial Dedication.

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