36 of 173

South Dakota Guard unit in Iraq enjoys ‘relative’ success

A comment on a Bill Hobbs post led me to this story about an engineer company in the South Dakota National Guard where 36 of the 173 members are related to each other by blood or marriage. The unit, the 200th Engineer Company, is currently deployed in Iraq.

“When you talk to the regular Army [soldiers], they’re shocked that I’ve got a brother, let alone a sister, in my company,” said Sgt. Jesse Flottmeyer, 25, whose twin brother, Justin, and sister, Janelle, 23, are in the same platoon of bridge builders.

Three of four Flottmeyer children are in Iraq. Their 21-year-old sister, Joanie, wasn’t able to join the Guard because of hearing loss.

“I don’t think [Mom] realized we could all be deployed,” Jesse Flottmeyer said.

There not only are brothers and sisters in the unit, but also cousins. There are uncles and nephews and nieces, five pairs of fathers and sons, and two sets of husbands and wives.

I think that’s great.

But is it morbid if one of the first things that comes to mind are the Sullivan Brothers and Saving Private Ryan?


  1. Murdoc, I am a member of the 200th, and you’ll be glad to know we made it back in late March without losing anyone. Some really close calls but still came back with everyone. Yeah it is really nice having such a tight unit but at the same time, if we had lost someone it would have been real tough to lose someone. Thank God we didnt have that happen.

  2. L.P.: That’s great news. Someone had asked me about this some time back, and I said that I hadn’t heard for sure, but I didn’t think anyone had been killed. Thanks for the heads up, and thanks for your service.