Military & Veterans News
Galesburg Army National Guard Unit Returns from Deployment PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Thursday, 20 December 2012 13:01

GALESBURG, IL (12/20/2012)(readMedia)-- Christmas is coming early for approximately 115 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers who served in Kuwait and will return to Illinois this weekend. The homecoming ceremony for the 444th Chemical Company will be Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. at the Galesburg National Guard Armory, 362 N. Linwood Road in Galesburg.

The Soldiers were mobilized in February and trained for a brief time at Camp Shelby, Miss., before deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Stationed at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, the unit operated as a base command cell supporting units stationed at the base and operations in the region.

The command cell implemented base improvements that saved more than $500,000 in government contracts and increased the billeting capability of Camp Virginia by more than 4,000 Soldiers. The 444th was instrumental in transitioning Camp Virginia from a short-term stop for Soldiers heading into theater into a long-term billeting area.

The 444th also conducted more than 3,000 patrols and secured 71 unexploded ordnances without loss of life or equipment.

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Limbaugh steps up to help support the troops PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Danny Gonzalez   
Thursday, 20 December 2012 12:55
If you went to check right now at you would see "From Melanie Morgan at Move America Forward" at the top of the page. Rush Limbaugh has noticed our plight after care packages intended for the troops were stolen just days ago.

Rush has always been a big supporter of the troops, and of Move America Forward as one of the premiere organizations out there providing support for the men and women on the front lines. He's also been a huge supporter of other troop-support groups such as the Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation. Rush has helped us every year by appearing on our Troopathon event which we broadcast every summer.

Having support from Rush to help us recover from this unfortunate crime is an amazing benefit for MAF as well as our troops in Afghanistan. Thank you Rush!

If you haven't already heard, Grinches tried to ruin Christmas for some of our brave troops in Afghanistan, stealing already packed and ready to deliver care packages in the dark of the night. But thanks to public outcry and the overwhelming generosity of everyday Americans like you, we are making up for the stolen care packages and working on another shipment as we speak.

There are only 6 days left until Christmas. Our brave men and women in Afghanistan need your support.

Lt. Governor Simon: The holidays are a reminder to honor our veterans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kara Beach   
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 15:09

ANNA – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Borggren will highlight the importance of veterans’ facilities that provide needed care to the men and women who have served our country by visiting the Anna Veterans Home on Thursday to celebrate the holidays with its residents.

“Our veterans deserve the thanks and appreciation of a grateful state and country, and I am proud to celebrate the holidays with residents in Anna,” said Simon, chair of the state’s military base retention and reuse committee. “Despite our state’s fiscal climate, it is important that we make sure veterans continue to receive the care they have earned.”

There are four veteran homes throughout Illinois, located in Anna, LaSalle, Manteno and Quincy. Each home provides residents with a sense of community, as well as medical care and support. Given the state’s serious fiscal climate, veterans homes have not been immune to annual budget cuts. During fiscal year 2013, the homes housed 44 fewer veterans, and 36 staff positions were cut.

DATE: Thursday, December 20

TIME: 2:30 p.m.

PLACE: Anna Veterans Home, 792 N. Main St., Anna


Super Stealth Replacing ‘Shock and Awe’ PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 15:52
More Will Be Asked of Special Forces & Their Families,
Says SEAL Team 6 Author

A memorable quote from the presidential debates came from President Obama regarding the military: “… we have fewer ships than we had in 1916. Well Governor, we also have also fewer horses and bayonets. Because the nature of the military has changed ... The question is not a game of Battleship or counting ships, it's, ‘What are our capabilities?’ ”

For the next four years, Obama is expected to continue to reshape the military by allocating more resources to the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

Military expert J.L. Narmi, author of “SEAL Team 6, bin Laden and Beyond,” (, says the military’s evolution will inevitably add stress to the already difficult lives of Special Forces members.

“Instead of relying on huge shows of American might – the ‘shock and awe’ bombings -- SEALs and Delta Force operatives will be the ones primarily defending our country and U.S. interests abroad,” Narmi says. “The American public does not have the appetite for another massive war campaign; drone strikes and targeted operations with specialists is the future of combat.

“Special Forces members are some of the most impressive people on Earth, but they’re not robots. They have the most intellectually and physically demanding jobs, and everything’s top secret. That’s an incredibly stressful way to live.”

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. Special Operations Command’s budget has quadrupled. Whereas there was once an estimated 40,000 Special Forces members in the military, there are now about 66,000. The goal through the next four years is to increase that number to 100,000.

“The specialized units of the U.S. military have very, very broad shoulders, but my concern is that too few Americans have skin in the game when it comes to war,” Narmi says. “As it is now, about 1 percent of the country is directly affected by our wars, and I’m reminded of Churchill’s quote regarding the Royal Air Force in World War II: ‘Never was so much owed by so many to so few.’ ”

He cites a few potential hot spots that could spread Special Forces thin:

• Iran/Israel: Iranian officials recently claimed to have successfully tested a new air defense system called Mersad, or ambush, which is modeled after a U.S. system. It’s just the latest news to up the ante of anxiety in the region.

• Asia: For most Americans, Asia has fallen off the radar of potential threats necessitating military action. But Islamic extremist groups, which have been problematic for U.S. interests in the past, remain a very real threat. North Korea, too, could turn aggressive at any time.

• Pakistan: Pakistanis’ animosity toward the U.S. has been simmering for years, especially since SEALs flew into the nation’s sovereign airspace to kill Osama bin Laden. The U.S. military is, to say the least, fed up with the leadership of Pakistan, which cooperates with Al Qaeda militias.

• Afghanistan and Iraq: While America managed to pull out of Iraq without looking like a complete failure, the state continues to struggle, and extremist elements could take over at any time. Afghanistan continues to be America’s longest war -- 11 years running. If there’s any progress, it’s very slow, with Afghan soldiers and police in training perpetrating deadly attacks on U.S. troops.

About J. L. Narmi

J. L. Narmi comes from family with deep roots in the military; his brother, retired Rear Admiral Ronald E. Narmi, worked closely with SEAL teams throughout his career. Narmi’s fascination with the Navy SEALs resulted in “SEAL Team 6, bin Laden and Beyond,” which was completed just eight days before the real-life mission that resulted in bin Laden’s death. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and earned his MBA from Creighton University. Narmi is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute of the Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania.

Governor Quinn Honors Veterans During Chicago Welcome Home the Heroes Weekend PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Monday, 17 December 2012 14:55

Events Celebrate 2.4 Million Returning Veterans Since 9/11, Boost Efforts to Support Servicemembers Transitioning to Civilian Life

CHICAGO – December 14, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined with Erica Borggren, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and Illinois servicemembers to celebrate Chicago Welcome Home the Heroes Weekend, which will mark the one-year anniversary of the end of combat operations in Iraq. The two-day event will honor the 2.4 million Veterans who have served in the military since September 11th, 2001 and raise awareness of programs designed to help them successfully transition to civilian life. Governor Quinn has fought to improve life for Illinois Veterans throughout his career with a variety of initiatives.

“These brave men and women have sacrificed greatly to preserve our freedom,” Governor Quinn said. “Now that they’re back on American soil after honorably serving our country, it’s our duty to give them the support they need to successfully transition into civilian life.”

The two days of events begin with the Reading of the Fallen Ceremony at 9:11 a.m. in the plaza outside the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, where volunteers read the names of the more than 6,600 servicemen and women who lost their lives protecting our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. This ceremony is dedicated to Gold Star families who have lost their sons or daughters in combat.

On Saturday, the Chicago Welcomes Home the Heroes parade will honor the entire military community and will be followed by a Veterans Resources Reception at the Chicago Cultural Center.

“This weekend’s homecoming celebration and recognition of our fallen is an important thanks to those who have served since 9/11,” Director Borggren said. “It is also a reminder and part of Illinois’ much broader, everyday commitment to serving those who have served as they transition home and encounter challenges related to Post Traumatic Stress, employment, housing, and education.”

As part of this special weekend, Governor Quinn is also reminding Illinois Veterans that a new statewide, public-private partnership has been launched to improve support for servicemembers, Veterans and their families. Illinois Joining Forces seeks to increase collaboration and communication among not-for-profit organizations and public agencies serving Veterans at the local, state and federal levels.

Through IJF, participating organizations work together to address gaps in services in job training and placement, healthcare, education and housing, actively refer Veterans and service members in need of assistance, and offer better navigation of available resources and service to the public. For more information, visit

Governor Quinn has long made commitment to Veterans' affairs, servicemembers and their families one of his top priorities throughout his career in public service. He has led programs including the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program and the Veterans Cash lottery ticket, which has awarded more than $10 million to non-profit organizations across the state that provide health care and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, housing assistance, disability benefits and other services to Illinois Veterans.

As Lieutenant Governor, Governor Quinn championed and helped enact the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund Act, which established a fund to provide grants to families of Illinois National Guard members and Illinois residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who were called to active duty as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. These grants help service members and their families with the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services and other expenses they struggle to afford because a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty.

To learn more about Chicago Welcome Home Heroes and other ways you can support our Veterans, visit and

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