Military & Veterans News
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Duane Miller   
Friday, 15 February 2013 13:05

It takesabout $80,000 to fully support just one Honor Flight. $30,000 of that is paid for by the Guardians that accompany the veterans and that leaves just $50,000 to sponsor a flight.

The Edward W. Knapper VFW Post 6174 is hoping that through the residents, various organizations, and businesses in the Eldridge and North Scott area that we can raise that amount to be able to say that we, as a community have fully funded one Honor Flight.

The post has opened an account at DuTrac Credit Union in Eldridge that will receive deposits from the community. If one is depositing a check, it needs to be made out to either VFW Post 6174 (with notation to HONOR FLIGHT) or it can be made out to Honor Flight of the Quad Cities, as they have established a local account as well.

Honor Flight of the Quad Cities is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization. Your donation is tax deductible.  For background information:

We are looking for donations both large and small. From pocket change to memorials, all donations are welcome.

We are looking for any fundraising source that may be out there; classroom projects, neighborhood donations, sewing circles, book clubs, Sunday School collections, service organizations, and collectors clubs are all possibilities.

We will have containers placed at various businesses around town. We urge anyone that wishes to have a container placed in their place of business to call Duane Miller at 285-8613 and he will get one there for you. This would be a great way to honor any veteran; whether it be your brother, sister, spouse, parent, grandparent, or classmate.

Our ultimate goal is to get all WWII veterans out to Washington DC to see their memorial. The number of WWII vets is diminishing every day. Korean Vets are now eligible and hopefully Honor Flights will continue long enough to be able to include Vietnam Vets as well.

The local VFW is passing along 100% of all donations. We have no administration fees to deduct from your generosity. What we take from this project is the satisfaction of getting more veterans recognized for their service to our country.

Please contact Duane Miller for any additional information you may need.

Loebsack Discusses Impact of Sequestration on Arsenals and Depots PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Friday, 15 February 2013 12:59

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today questioned the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Deputy Secretary of Defense at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the impacts of sequestration on our military.  Loebsack continued to express his opposition to letting the automatic, across the board spending cuts contained in sequestration take effect. He has concerns about the affects of sequestration on national security, including the operations at the Rock Island Arsenal and the Iowa Army Ammunition Plants.  He questioned General Ray Odierno, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, about the impact of these arbitrary cuts on the Army’s arsenals and depots.

“I was opposed to these arbitrary, across the board cuts, known as sequestration, since they were first proposed last year.  They do not make sense for our budget and they certainly do not make sense for our nation’s defenses.  I strongly believe we must reduce the unsustainable deficit, but this is not the way to do it. I am greatly concerned about the long-term effects of sequestration on our readiness and the workforce at our nation’s arsenals and depots, including the Rock Island Arsenal and the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant.  The organic industrial base and its workforce are critical to our readiness and ability to respond to a national security contingency.  As a military parent, we have to ensure our troops serving overseas have the best equipment available to them.  We cannot allow these cuts to take place,” said Loebsack.

Video of the discussion can be found here:


Commander welcomes home returning vets PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Joe March   
Friday, 15 February 2013 11:47
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 13, 2013) -- American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz responded to President Obama's State of the Union Address Tuesday with a word of welcome to 34,000 troops the president said would be coming home from Afghanistan this year.
"American Legion service officers stand ready to support our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and help them understand their VA benefits. American Legion-sponsored job fairs and business workshops await their return, offering opportunities to convert military experience into successful careers. American Legion posts and individual members are available for those who come home wondering where to turn for camaraderie and support. That is what we do. It is who we are."
Koutz said he looks forward to meeting with President Obama later this month to discuss specific ways The American Legion can help DoD, VA, veterans and their families make the adjustment to postwar lives.
"No one does more than The American Legion to help returning veterans," Koutz said. "This organization was built on that very concept. As the president has said in past speeches, there is no reason the returning veterans of the Global War on Terrorism cannot drive the U.S. economy forward, as it did after the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 -- which The American Legion authored as World War II was ending -- and build another half-century of U.S. economic prosperity."
Veterans can and will be essential to the U.S. economic recovery, Koutz explained. "There was no doubt from the State of the Union Address that our nation's highest priority is the improvement of our economy. Veterans have proven in the past that they can be the catalysts.
“The American Legion is dedicated to convincing employers, many of whom already know, that veterans can once again lead our nation to a new era of economic performance and hope. We look forward to working with VA and DoD to ease the transition process, provide our newest generation of veterans with the support they need, and rebuild our economy as a nation. It is really the least we can do for those who have stood strong against the threat of terrorism and kept it from our shores for over a decade."

Hagel Falls Hard When Faced with Tough Questions at Committee Hearing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Danny Gonzalez   
Friday, 01 February 2013 14:41
President Obama's nominee to be Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, failed miserably when faced with hard questions from the Senate Armed Forces Committee today. He could not, or refused to, answer for his past anti-Israel and seemingly pro-Iran positions. Instead he only offered confirmation that he should not be the Secretary of Defense.

Today's hearing proved without a doubt we must stop Hagel from being our next Secretary of Defense.

Hagel Calls Ahmadinejad's Government "elected, legitimate."

Hagel was trying to defend his refusal to vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. In doing so he called Iran several times as an "elected, legitimate government," and again said the Iranian regime was a "legitimate, independent government."

It was a slip or he wasn't thinking, but it shows his disposition towards Iran that we have disturbingly seen several times. It is outrageous to legitimize a government led by a madman like Ahmadinejad, who has publicly denied the holocaust ever occurred, and called for the state of Israel to be "wiped off the map." 

If Hagel thinks that kind of conduct passes as 'legitimate government' then we'd hate to see how he would react as an ambassador of American interests abroad.

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Hagel Agreed, in 2009 Interview, America is "the World's Bully"

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) literally blew Hagel out of the water when he played a very damning quote of Hagel conducting a 2009 interview on Al-Jazeera News wherein Hagel AGREED WITH an e-mailed comment from a woman who identified the United States as "the World's Bully."

Cruz played the soundbyte for the whole committee and all attendees to hear for themselves:

Sycamore Field Artillery Unit Shows off Its Guns at Open House PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by National Guard PAO Illinois   
Friday, 01 February 2013 14:31

SYCAMORE, IL (01/31/2013)(readMedia)-- Story by Sgt. Kenneth Vasser, Unit Public Affairs Representative, Illinois Army National Guard

The artillerymen of Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery opened their armory doors to the general public, local leaders and family and friends for an open house Jan. 27, at the Sycamore Armory.

The purpose of the Open House was to give the public an opportunity to learn about the unit's history and military mission, see unit equipment and facilities, and visit with the Redlegs of Alpha Battery.

Visitors were given a presentation on the history and lineage of the unit and its involvement in various conflicts throughout history. The main event of the day was a full-speed "dry-fire" artillery demonstration that explained how the "eyes," "brains" and "brawn" of the field artillery work together to achieve mission success.

"Artillerymen work hard," said Capt. Dustin Cammack of Chicago, battery commander. "The forward observers are the "eyes," they travel with the infantry and send us target information. The fire direction center, the "brains", then processes that information into firing data. Then the gun line, known as the "brawn," uses that data to put steel on target," said Cammack. "When all things are in sync, it's a beautiful thing."

Guests were able to see firsthand the inner workings of the technology, equipment and technical proficiency involved with modern day field artillery. The spectators observed four "dry- fire" missions as Soldiers and leaders explained and demonstrated their duties, tasks and responsibilities as artillerymen.

"The event was an overall success," said Staff Sgt. Jorge Solis of Wheaton, a cannon crew chief. "The motivation of the Soldiers was high, and the community was involved and attentative."

Spc. Levi Kammes of Crystal Lake, a cannon crew member, appreciated the local community's support.

"It was a great day and a great opportunity for the community to support the unit and really see what is within the armory walls," said Kammes.

The unit hopes to maintain its strong connection with the city of Sycamore as the Soldiers continue their commitment to serve the community and nation.

"We are truly grateful and proud of the support this unit has received from the people of Sycamore," said Cammack. "It has allowed us to be such an amazing part of American history and this town's history for nearly 100 years."

More than 40 people attended the first-ever open house at the Sycamore Armory. Notable attendees included state Rep. Bob Pritchard, 70th District, Paul Herbert, First Division Museum at Cantigny executive director, and Alison Ruble, USO of Illinois president and CEO.

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