Legislature comes together to honor Staff Sergeant Daniel D. Busch
By: Senator Jon Erpenbach and Representative Dave Considine

MADISON - When you hear or read the news, everything can seem like it’s in freefall.  From partisan bickering, to major disagreements on issues that have an enormous effect on Wisconsinites. However, it is important to remember that a majority of the laws that are passed are able to move through the legislature with bipartisan support. That was the case with a simple, yet important bill that was introduced earlier this year. On March 7, 2019, Senator Jon Erpenbach and Representative Dave Considine introduced a proposal to designate and mark STH 33 in Columbia County as the Staff Sergeant Daniel D. Busch Memorial Highway.


On May 21, 2019, Senator Erpenbach and Representative Considine had the honor of submitting testimony to the Senate Committee on Transportation, Veterans, and Military Affairs on Senate Bill 84/Assembly Bill 77– the Staff Sergeant D. Busch Memorial Highway Bill. They were able to share the story behind the proposal in front of the family and friends of this Wisconsin hero, and with this bill, his story will be marked in Wisconsin history for years to come.


The bills honors the service and heroism of a young veteran who gave his life for his country. It does so by directing the Department of Transportation (DOT) to designate 9.5 miles of State Highway 33 that lie in the 81st Assembly District and the 27th Senate District as the Staff Sergeant Daniel D. Busch Memorial Highway. 


Staff Sergeant Daniel D. Busch was a U.S. Army Ranger and a member of the U.S. Army Special Operations Delta Force.  He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action against a hostile enemy force on October 3, 1993 for his actions while serving with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. 


During the operation, the helicopter that Staff Sergeant Busch was in was shot down by enemy fire.  He immediately exited the aircraft, took control of a key intersection, and provided suppressive fire against overwhelming enemy forces.  In the course of these heroic actions Staff Sergeant Busch received his fatal wound while ensuring the survival of his fellow team members.  A hero to not only his fellow Rangers, Staff Sergeant Busch left behind a wife, child, mother and a mourning community.


With this bill, we have publicly honored this Wisconsin hero who sacrificed his life for his fellow soldiers, and for his country. Staff Sergeant Busch was a service member of tremendous character and integrity who deserves to be honored with this public road naming.


Thanks to our veterans, we are able to maintain our freedom and safety here in America. This bill is one small way to memorialize a true hero’s legacy. Yet, there is still legislation that we need to pass to give back to those who give so much for our country, such as access to quality health care – including mental health care, programs to transition veterans back into our workforce, and veteran housing.


Staff Sergeant Daniel D. Busch is a hero to both Senator Erpenbach and Representative Considine, the community, and our country. On Tuesday, November 19, they joined the family of SSG Daniel D. Busch for the bill signing of AB 77 at Portage High School. The bill was signed by Governor Evers during a ceremony that morning.