An Unexpected Homecoming: Memorial For Local Soldier Travels From Pennsylvania To Yankton

Every once in a while, a story comes along that punches you in the gut.

I had that experience earlier this fall when putting together a story for a special section the Press & Dakotan did on veterans.

Thanks to the help of the local VFW Post, I learned that a memorial stone for a Vietnam veteran had been transported from its original home in Pennsylvania to the soldier’s final resting place in Yankton.

That soldier was Dave Hevle.

The story struck me, in part, because Hevle was such a young man when he was killed by a mine in Vietnam. What really impressed me, however, were the efforts of quite a few people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to get the memorial to Yankton. It had been more or less forgotten at a Girl Scout Camp and was a mystery to the people who decided to take an interest in it.

It’s only because of their efforts that the stone is now where everybody agrees it should be.

I thought today would be an appropriate time to highlight Dave Hevle’s service and the story of a memorial Girl Scouts in Pennsylvania made for him.

During my research for the story, I dug up the Press & Dakotan’s coverage of Hevle’s funeral in April 1967:


Below is the story I wrote for the special section. If you’d like to see how it looked in the paper with photos of Hevle and the stone, click here.






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