Military & Veterans News
Terrorists Bomb World Trade Center - 20 Year Anniversary PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Danny Gonzalez   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 09:05
20 Year Anniversary-Terrorists Bomb WTC in 1993

20 years ago, terrorists first attacked the World Trade Center in New York City. It was not the first time terrorists had attacked American targets, nor would it be the last, but it was a pivotal moment in the War on Terror that we must NEVER FORGET.

The attack was organized by Khaled Sheikh Mohammed and fellow jihadist conspirators who detonated a truck bomb armed with over 1,340 lbs. of explosives in the lower garage levels in an attempt to knock  the North Tower (Tower 1) into the South Tower (Tower 2), destroying both towers and murdering the thousands of innocent people inside. Though the terrorists failed that day, six innocent people were killed and over a thousand more injured. Many more could have been killed.

The murderers who perpetrated this first attack are the same radical jihadists who our troops are still fighting today. Today, please take a moment to remember and pray for those innocent people who lost their lives in terrorist attacks.

Despite attacks like this one in 1993, and similar attacks like the bombing of the Marine barracks in 1982, the USS Cole in 2000, and many other provocations, America really did not take the War on Terror seriously until after 9/11. It took an enormous and tragic loss of life for the sleeping giant of America to finally wake up and realize that we are in a war for survival against radical Islam.

After 9/11, President George W. Bush finally mobilized the full might of the US military to go after the terrorists wherever they hide, so that our country never lets our guard down again. We must NEVER FORGET attacks like the first WTC in 1993, because those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Never forget about the terrorists and their ambitions to destroy our country and our way of life, or our troops who are fighting on the front lines protecting us.

On this anniversary of one of the most famous terrorist attacks in the history of the War on Terror, send some support to our Marines on the front lines fighting the terrorists!

Illinois Guardsmen understand signficance of Black History Month PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. Jesse Houk, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 08:48

SPRINGFIELD, IL (02/25/2013)(readMedia)-- Illinois has a special connection to the Black History Month celebration. After all, the Great Emancipator, President Abraham Lincoln, served in the Illinois Militia and began his political career in Illinois. With the support of like-minded people, he challenged public opinion and sparked a civil rights revolution still felt today. African-American Soldiers in Illinois played important roles in most major conflicts since the Civil War.

"African-Americans have overcome many obstacles within the military," said Adriana Schroeder, the Illinois National Guard's command historian. "The first obstacle was actually being able to pick up arms and fight. The second was to have black leadership within their all black units. The third struggle was integration into the military to where African-Americans fought alongside white Soldiers."

The 29th U.S. Colored Infantry was formed during the Civil War to guard wagons and train depots, said Schroeder. They fought in one of the final battles of the Civil War, in the Battle of the Crater in Petersburg, Va.

In World War I the African American 8th Infantry was re-designated the 370th Infantry and fought under the French. It was the only unit entirely commanded by black officers. The 8th Infantry continued its proud history during World War II, reorganized into the 2-184th Field Artillery, by being a vital part of capturing the Rhine River town of Wesel.

The lineage of the 8th Infantry lives today with the 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

"I have to applaud the efforts of so many because although we have a unique and rich history we didn't get there by ourselves," said Command Sgt. Maj. Howard O. Robinson, of Olympia Fields, the Illinois National Guard's senior enlisted adviser. "I think about the Great Emancipator and others who fought for equality. We have made significant progress, but if it wasn't for those civil rights leaders and many brave whites who believed in the cause, equality in the military wouldn't be where it is today."

Robinson witnessed, firsthand, the progress black Soldiers have made over the years. His father served in the all-black 761st Tank Battalion in Patton's 3rd Army as a tank sergeant. His uncle served as a noncommissioned officer in the Korean War and another uncle served in Vietnam, later becoming a brigadier general.

Robinson, an African-American, who split his youth between inner-city Chicago with his parents and rural Hunnewell, Mo., with his grandparents and two aunts, is a living example of the achievements our country celebrates in February.

"I have seen improvements in equality," said Robinson. "We are a diverse organization and there are opportunities out there. We want to make sure everyone has a fair stake in our organization."

Robinson said equality within the military, and even his own success, would not have been possible if it were not for white Soldiers believing in their black counterparts and opening the necessary doors.

Robinson joined the Illinois Army National Guard in 1983 and worked his way up the ranks. As he did, he saw things that needed improvement and worked to resolve those issues.

"I felt like instead of complaining about it, I needed to position myself to really do something about it," said Robinson. "That was the turning point in me becoming a part of the solution."

Robinson now looks to assist younger Soldiers in accomplishing their goals much like key individuals throughout his career helped him. Although the Illinois National Guard celebrates Black History Month, every person who puts on the uniform is equally valued.

"Today, every Soldier bleeds red, white and blue for America no matter the color of their skin," said Schroeder.

News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Rep. Mike Smiddy   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:01
PORT BYRON, IL – State Rep. Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) invites residents to participate in an interactive webinar on state employment for persons with disabilities on Wednesday, February 27 from 10 AM to 11:30 AM at his office, located at 201 N. Main St., Unit 2 in Port Byron.

“The job market can be tough to crack for everyone, and for people with disabilities the challenges can, unfortunately, be even greater,” said Smiddy. “Eliminating barriers for persons with disabilities to access the job market and obtain good-paying, long-term employment is extremely important to the overall economic health of the state and the future of many individuals in our area.”

Smiddy will be in Springfield on February 27th, as the General Assembly will be in session. However, he felt it was important to provide local disabled veterans access to an online workshop to help in their job searches. The webinar features presentations on state programs that can help connect persons with disabilities with employment resources, including Illinois Job Link, a web-based tool that connects Illinois employers with employees; the Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitative Services; and the Successful Disability Opportunities Program to expand state work opportunities for disabled workers. Attendees will be able to ask questions through the webinar’s chat function.

“I am always looking for new, innovative ways to create jobs in our communities and will continue to work with local business leaders and citizens to develop the economic policies that will put our neighbors back to work,” Smiddy said. “Even though I can’t be present, I want to make sure that all area residents know they can turn to me and my office for assistance.”

For more information on employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, visit Work 4 Illinois at or the Illinois Department of Employment Security at

To RSVP for the webinar, contact Smiddy’s office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (309) 848-9098, or toll free at (855) 243-4988.


Loebsack, Jones Announce Co-Chairmanship of House Military Depot and Arsenal Caucus PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 15 February 2013 15:24

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-2) and Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) announce their co-chairmanship of the House Military Depot, Arsenal, Ammunition Plant, and Industrial Facilities Caucus for the 113th Congress.  This bipartisan group of House members will be dedicated to policy issues that affect military industrial facilities, including aviation depots, arsenals, ammunition plants, shipyards, and energetic material production facilities. The caucus will also educate other members of Congress on matters of importance to the military depot and industrial facility community, as well as advocate for necessary changes in policy.

Congressman Loebsack represents Rock Island Arsenal and the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant. Rock Island Arsenal is home to the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, the Department of Defense’s only multi-purpose and vertically integrated metal manufacturer.  The Arsenal is also home to critical logistics, contracting, and mobilization commands, including Army Sustainment Command, Joint Munitions Command, Army Contracting Command-Rock Island, and First Army.  The Iowa Army Ammunition Plant produces and delivers component assembly and medium and large caliber ammunition to US Joint Forces.

“I’m proud to co-chair the House Military Depot, Arsenal, Ammunition Plant, and Industrial Facilities Caucus with my friend, Congressman Jones (NC-03).  I strongly believe that arsenals such as Rock Island Arsenal, ammunition plants like the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, depots, and other organic industrial facilities are essential to our national security.  As a military parent, I’m thankful for the workforce at our organic industrial facilities that work every day to put equipment in the hands of our troops.  I look forward to continuing to partner with Congressman Jones and the Caucus membership to strongly advocate for our organic industrial facilities,” said Loebsack.

Congressman Jones represents Fleet Readiness Center East (FRC East), a military depot service provider located at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station specializing in support of Marine aircraft, engines and components.  FRC East is the only source of repair within the continental United States for many jet engines and rotary wing engines, as well as turbofan vectored thrust engines.

“As a longtime member and co-chair of the House Military Depot and Industrial Facilities Caucus, I have worked hard to ensure that the industrial capacity of our military depots to regenerate equipment is at a maximum.  Military depots and other industrial facilities, like Fleet Reserve Center East, play a vital role in the health of our Armed Services and allow our fighting forces to continue their mission without delay.  I look forward to working with Congressman Loebsack (IA-02) to create a stronger, more resilient system,” said Jones.


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.

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