Larry D. Zimmerman was appointed Secretary of the SD Department of Veterans Affairs in September 2011.
Secretary Zimmerman serves as the voice for South Dakota’s seventy-five thousand veterans and advocates for and provides the pathway for all veterans and their families to receive the benefits due to them.
In 2014 Secretary Zimmerman led the Department and its partners on a statewide campaign to reach all veterans – Operation RAV. The Department was recognized nationally for their efforts and was awarded the Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence award. Zimmerman and his team will spend the next three years reaching out to veterans per war era.
Secretary Zimmerman attended high school in Belle Fourche, S.D., his hometown. He graduated from Ashford University in Clinton, IA, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Organizational Management. His military education includes many schools including the Sergeants Major Academy.
Prior to being selected as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in South Dakota he served as the State Command Sergeant Major, he also served as Postmaster in Spearfish, Pierre and Sturgis. His career in the U.S. Postal Service spanned 35 years and he held many positions in western South Dakota. Secretary Zimmerman retired from the Post Office on February 1, 2009.
Zimmerman served 29 years in the South Dakota National Guard retiring in January of 2013.
He completed a tour in Afghanistan (OEF) as the Operations SGM for the nine Northern provinces in that country, and before that was the CSM in both the 109th RSG in Rapid City, SD and the 109th En Bn in Sturgis, and the Regional Training Institute at Ft Meade along with numerous other positions within the Army Guard. Zimmerman was Active Duty Army from 1973-1976 in the 4th Infantry Division at Ft Carson, CO.
Zimmerman is a lifetime member of: the American Legion (Piedmont), Veterans of Foreign Wars (Custer), Disabled American Veterans (Sturgis) and Vietnam Veterans of America (Watertown).
Secretary Zimmerman is married to Dyann and they have three daughters, Misty, Crisha, and Lanna and five grandchildren.
DECORATIONS AND AWARDS:
Legion of Merit Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/star
Army Commendation Medal w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Achievement Medal w/ 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Good Conduct Medal
Reserve Component Achievement Medal 5th Award
National Defense Service Medal 3rd Award
Art 5 NATO ISAF Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ M device
SD Distinguished Service Award
SD Recruiting Ribbon
SD Service Medal
SD Desert Storm Ribbon