PIERRE, S.D. — A long stretch of highway that crosses the Rosebud Indian Reservation will soon honor a special group of South Dakota military veterans whose use of indigenous languages during World War I and World War II helped win those conflicts.

The state Transportation Commission on Thursday officially designated part of US18 as the Sicangu Lakota Code Talker Memorial Highway. It will cover a segment from Pickstown in the east to the boundary between Todd and Bennett counties in the west.

State Sen. Shawn Bordeaux, a Rosebud tribal member, originally sought the Code Talker designation for a 55-mile stretch of US83. But the full length of that route through the entire U.S. already was designated as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.

Among the communities along the Code Talkers route are Bonesteel, Burke, Gregory, Colome, Winner and Mission.