Military & Veterans News
238th Aviation Battalion Mobilizes for Afghanistan PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard   
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:43

Peoria Aviation Unit Will Provide Air Movement and Air Assault Support

PEORIA, IL (01/23/2013)(readMedia)-- A deployment ceremony is scheduled for approximately 60 Soldiers with 2nd Battalion of the 238th General Support Aviation in Peoria who will deploy to Afghanistan. The ceremony will be Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. at the Army Aviation Support Facility #3, 2323 S. Airport Road in Peoria.

The Soldiers will train for a brief time at Fort Hood, Texas, before deploying to Afghanistan for approximately nine months.

The Illinois Army National Guard unit will include members from across Illinois, along with aviation personnel from South Carolina.

While deployed to Afghanistan, the 238th, which flies CH-47 Chinook helicopters, will perform heavy helicopter air movement and air assault missions. It will also be in charge of re-supply operations and aviation maintenance support.

The unit is scheduled to return home in December 2013.

News media attending the event should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. For more information call the Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569.

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News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Move America Forward   
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 16:00
The Super Bowl is two short weeks away and MAF is launching a special SUPERBOWL challenge to all of our pro-troops supporters to donate more care packages for the troops. The team with the most donations will win!!!

Last year you, our donors, picked the winning team who went on to win the game! Wow. Will you do it two years in a row?

In addition to the care packages sent out because of the generous gifts by you, if your team receives more donations overall, they will be named the MAF SUPERBOWL TROOPERBOWL Champions.

We will be sending a special shipment of care packages to a unit in Afghanistan from the winning teams' state. So a lucky unit from either California or Maryland will receive a special shipment of boxes with Super Bowl gifts and information about our MAF SUPERBOWL competition!

SO, we want to know, can 49er's fans donate more to the troops than Ravens fans?

The Super Bowl will be an incredible game between two of the league's best teams. Both have playmakers on both sides of the ball and it's impossible to say who will win. As you get ready to watch the game you can decide to help the brave troops who watch over you by sending them a care package

Troops in Far-Flung Province Given MREs for Breakfast Instead of Real Food PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Move America Forward   
Friday, 18 January 2013 09:12

There have been rumors circulating through social media and chain e-mails claiming that our troops overseas are no longer receiving hot meals for breakfast or midnight 4th meal. Some claim it's due to budget cuts, others say it's logistics, but the rumors are flying that troops are only getting lunch and dinner provided.

January 15, 2013
Posted by Steve Weigand

"An Internet rumor that American troops in Afghanistan no longer get breakfast has prompted a response from the Pentagon via Twitter.

A chain email says the last-minute deal Congress passed to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" also denies breakfast to troops in Afghanistan.

The email garnered enough attention that rumor-debunking site picked up on it and rated the email "partly true" since some bases stopped serving hot breakfasts as they get ready for the drawdown."

The DoD has tried to fight the rumors by reassuring people through their twitter feed, that troops are getting 4 meals a day, but even according to the DoD's best spin, they're saying two of those meals are MRE rations.

Our troops deserve better.

If you think our troops deserve better, how about sending a care package filled with GOOD tasting food that's also portable, like powdered Gatorade or hot cocoa that can easily be mixed in minutes, or cookies and beef jerky that stay safe and delicious for weeks.

Illinois National Guard Soldiers Have Lunch with Chicago Cubs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Capt. Dustin Cammack, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs   
Thursday, 17 January 2013 09:44

USO, 2/24th Marines Host Chicago Cubs Caravan

CHICAGO (01/17/2013)(readMedia)-- More than 50 Illinois National Guard Soldiers along with 250 other servicemembers from all branches of service joined the Chicago Cubs for lunch sponsored by the USO of Illinois at the 2013 Cubs Caravan in Chicago Jan. 16.

Hosted by 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Reserve Regiment in Chicago, servicemembers were treated to lunch from D'Agostino's and had an opportunity to visit with Cubs players, management and front office.

The event started with the 2/24th Marine Color Guard posting the colors followed by an introduction by Cubs radio announcer Len Kasper.

"On behalf of the Chicago Cubs I want to give our thanks for everything you do to protect this country and our freedom," said Kasper.

Cubs manager, Dale Sveum, thanked the servicemembers for serving our country.

"Oh behalf of the Chicago Cubs we want to tell you how much we appreciate what you do here and abroad. We really appreciate that. I even have a tattoo that says thanks," said Sveum. "Thank you for having us here today to be able to serve you like you serve us all the time."

The Soldiers met and talked with the players and managers and appreciated the time the Cubs took to meet with them.

"I really liked it. Getting all the players out here mingling with the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen – it was a good time," said Sgt. First Class Shawn Money of Dekalb. "And I'm impressed. I'm impressed they are out here doing this. You really don't see this that often."

For Staff Sgt. Benjamin Allen of Palatine, being a Cubs fan runs in the family.

"I've been a Cubs fan all my life and I really didn't have a choice. I grew up as one so it was nice to come see them all," said Allen. "My wife was excited I was coming for it, she is a big Theo Epstein fan."

Sgt. First Class Samer Elguindy of Chicago noted how welcoming the Cubs were to the servicemembers.

"I thought it was awesome. Not too often do I get to be served by the general manager or the top players," said Elguindy. "They were very warm and very easy to talk to and they didn't hesitate when asked to get a picture or autograph. It was really cool."

For more on the USO of Illinois visit

For more on the Chicago Cubs Caravan visit

Illinois National Guard Soldiers share a laugh with Cubs outfielder David DeJesus and infielder Anthony Rizzo at the 2013 Chicago Cubs Caravan luncheon sponsored by the USO of Illinois in Chicago Jan. 16. More than 300 Active, Reserve and National Guard servicemembers were treated to lunch from D'Agostino's and had an opportunity to visit with Cubs players and management at the event hosted by the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Reserve Regiment in Chicago.  U.S. Army photo by Capt. Dustin Cammack, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs.

Lawmakers with no Combat Experience are Too Ready for War, Vet Says PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 17 January 2013 09:07
Former Marine Platoon Commander Notes 2013 Congress has
Least Active-Duty Veterans Since WWII

The U.S. military invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and has been there ever since; in fact, the government started and ended another long and costly campaign in Iraq within that period. All the fighting, dying, loss of limbs, family absences, stress and resulting post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, homelessness and suicide have been experienced by less than 1 percent of the population – combat veterans.

“Everyone says they can only imagine the hell of war, and it’s true; if you haven’t been in combat, you just don’t know what it is like,” says Ord Elliott, a former platoon commander with the Marines and author of The Warrior’s Silence ( The memoir, written over several decades, recounts the transformative experience of combat in Vietnam and how it informed his emerging understanding of war as a young man.

“The problem has gotten worse because the number of active-duty veterans in the U.S. Congress has been declining for nearly four decades,” Elliott says. “This year’s 113th Congress will have the fewest since World War II – just 19 percent of the 535 House and Senate members.”

Elliott says he had no particular purpose in mind when he wrote down his memories and impressions of war, and the pages sat in the back of my closet for years – until the drums of war started up once again for the Middle East.

“I knew more young people would be used as cannon fodder for an unnecessary war, voted on by old politicians with nothing to lose. That’s when I knew my writing could be used for something.”

Much of his reader feedback addresses the apparent indifference by politicians to the suffering that will be endured by troops when the nation goes to war, says Elliott, a Princeton graduate. He says many feel thatThe Warrior’s Silence – in the tradition of Karl Marlantes’ Matterhorn and Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead – should be required reading for any politician pushing for a war vote. Several passages in Elliott’s book detail the heavy toll of war:

• Resentment & anger: As a platoon commander, Elliott participated heavily in “the numbers game,” which was the attempt to count the dead and wounded on both sides. “It became a far more fictional than real method of accounting,” he says.Many times since then, Elliott has daydreamed about having Robert McNamara, the late Secretary of Defense who played a major role in the Vietnam War, run “point.” “I wanted the politicians and the generals and the colonels sitting back in Da Nang moving pins on a map – I wanted those bastards on my point,” he writes. “When you’re on point, you’re marching on the edge of annihilation, your last moment not a full breath away.”

• Depersonalizing humans: In Vietnam enemies were called “Gooks;” today, we fight “terrorists,”or even the more blatantly racist “rag-heads.” In addition to the many inane reasons given for the past several U.S. wars –which stay with vets as a nagging “why?” – embattled military personnel also carry with them the dangerous experience of having dehumanized people. “When you get back from combat, you know you’ve changed, but you don’t know exactly how,” he says.

• The good warrior: Dave Hackett, a friend of Elliott’s in Vietnam, was the company’s executive officer. “He was a good Marine who never questioned the war; he was a professional warrior who accepted the rules of the game he was in,” Elliott says. One night, the two shared coffee while Dave retold the adventures of a Native American hero, as portrayed in a western-novel series, in which the protagonist was finally killed. The storytelling turned out to be prophetic.The next day the company was ambushedand Dave died in the firefight trying to save other Marines.Today’s Marines are much like Dave, Elliott says. They are admirable in their willingness to charge into anything, and they are completely at the mercy of politicians’ votes.

• Insight: “My father fought in the Battle of the Bulge,” writes Catherine Webber, a former Oregon state senator. “Two years later, when I was only 6, he committed suicide. Ord’s insight into the warrior’s mind has helped me understand how what he endured could have trumped his love for me, my mother and my baby sisters. Had I known this 60 years ago, my life would have been much different. I have now finally found some closure and peace ….”

About Ord Elliott

Ord Elliott was a Marine Rifle Platoon Commander in Vietnam, and he is a Princeton graduate. He went on to build a successful career in management consulting. He is also the author of a book on organization design, The Future Is Fluid Form: Practical Steps for Designing Flat, Flexible Organizations.

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