WATCH: NewsCenter1 is broadcasting LIVE from 19th annual National Guard Picnic

RAPID CITY, S.D. — NewsCenter1 is broadcasting LIVE from the 19th annual National Guard Picnic. To watch the full show, tune in to KNBN/NewsCenter1 or stream on our website here.

The picnic takes place every year as a celebratory gathering for military members that have been participating in the Golden Coyote training exercises.

National Guard members from around the globe gather in the Hills for the exercises every summer.

NewsCenter1 hosts the picnic to show support and appreciation for those who serve.

“Every year it is an honor for us to be able to serve the men and women of the National Guard,” said Anna Whetham, a general sales manager at NC1. “We at NewsCenter1 feel it is the least we can do for the members and their families who sacrifice so much for us.”

Its inception was inspired by events during the 1972 flood, when NewsCenter1’s general manager, Jim Simpson, was stranded by floodwaters as a child.

He was saved by two National Guard members who risked their lives to rescue him from where he was trapped.

Many of the staff at NewsCenter1 have friends, family members and personal connections with the military — and with other community members that are among the first to respond in emergencies.

Every day, we cover stories in the area that involve public servants who work and sacrifice to make us all safer.

It’s impossible to watch, listen to and document these stories without developing a deep recognition of the personal risks, sacrifices and dedication it takes to perform their duties.

Each year the picnic features food, drinks and live music. Service members and their families say it’s developed into a tradition — and a moment to enjoy each other’s companionship before many travel back to their home states and countries.

According 1st Lt. Sam Otto, “The KNBN Military Appreciation picnic is a great opportunity to recognize the dedication and sacrifices Soldiers have made and continue to make on a daily basis. Soldiers coming back from the field after two weeks of training enjoy the relaxation and camradery before returning home.”

Stay tuned to NewsCenter1 as we bring you live updates from the picnic.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News