Military & Veterans News
Loebsack Welcomes Quad Cities Honor Flight to Washington PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 22 September 2014 14:06

Veterans from WWII and Korean Wars view monuments built in their honor

Washington, D.C. – September 18, 2014 – Congressman Dave Loebsack today welcomed the Quad Cities Honor Flight to the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington. Loebsack presented the members of the Honor Flight with copies of the Congressional Record statement he submitted in recognition of their service, as well as a booklet entitled “Our American Government.” The Quad Cities Honor Flight brings World War II and Korean War veterans o Washington to visit our nation’s capital and Memorials built in their honor.

“I look forward to welcoming each Honor Flight to our nation’s capital so they can see the memorials that were built in their honor. Being able to welcome these veterans today was especially meaningful,” said Loebsack. “We cannot thank these veterans enough for their service to our nation. I was honored to present them with a copy of the statement I made for the official Congressional Record to recognize their service.”

The Honor Flights are all fully paid for, and the veterans are typically accompanied by volunteers who donate their time to ensure that the veterans have a safe trip. This group included 90 veterans. The Quad Cities Honor Flight left from the Quad Cities Airport this morning and will return tonight.

Loebsack is an avid supporter of our veterans. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he has worked to improve care and benefits for our servicemembers and veterans, including expanding Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits for the National Guard; expanding access to mental health care; helping our veterans find civilian jobs; and opening new Community Based Outpatient Clinics to improve access to VA services for Iowa veterans. He also co-introduced bipartisan legislation to eliminate the waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for servicemembers wounded in combat.

Can You Fill 16,000 Packages? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Carolyn Blashek   
Monday, 22 September 2014 12:14
Here's How YOU Can Help

On Monday morning of this week, I received this picture and note from one of our troops overseas:

"I greatly appreciate this package, because it comes from the hearts of many amazing people out there. Thank you so much!"

As world events have put the U.S. Military on high alert, so too has Operation Gratitude been impacted by the growing threats worldwide.  Here is an update on requests to send Operation Gratitude Care Packages to our Troops overseas and to our New Recruits and Veterans here at home.

On August 23rd, our volunteers in Southern California assembled 7,062 packages that were immediately shipped to troops deployed in harm’s way.  Then on September 3rd, we received an urgent request to send an additional 2,200 packages as soon as possible.  Our volunteers reacted within 48 hours and made packages for each and every hero.

This Saturday, September 20th, we have requests to send an additional 7,000 packages overseas.  Hundreds of local supporters have registered to volunteer to make sure that we fulfill every request.

This means that in a span of just 30 days, our volunteers will have assembled and shipped more than 16,000 Care Packages!  

Your generosity and support have helped us fulfill every care package request ever made since Operation Gratitude started in 2003: More than 1.1 Million Care Packages sent!  

Even if you are not available to volunteer at the National Guard Armory this Saturday, here are several very important ways that you can participate from anywhere in the country to ensure that we can send tens of thousands of additional packages by year-end.  

You can:

However you choose to serve, I am forever appreciative of your kindness.  Thank you for believing in our cause and for continuing to support our troops!


Carolyn Blashek, Founder

Illinois National Guard Soldiers place in marksmanship competition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Monday, 22 September 2014 08:34

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/17/2014)(readMedia)-- FORT BENNING, Ga. – Illinois National Guard Soldiers placed in the All Army Long Range Championship at Fort Benning, Georgia, September 8-11.

Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Mix of Marseilles, Illinois, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Chicago, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brandon Gibbs of Pleasant Plains, Illinois, with Company B, 634th Brigade Support Battalion, took first and second overall in the service rifle category.

The competition is an advanced combat live-fire training event open to Active Army, National Guard and Army Reserve.

This year, seven National Guard Soldiers competed out of 32 competitors. The Soldiers made up three two-man teams and had one individual competitor.

The two categories for this competition are service rifle (U.S. rifle, 7.62mm, M21 or M24) and bolt (U.S. rifle, caliber .300 Winchester Magnum M2010 or M-24). In all five matches, the competitors had 15 shots for record at each distance of 800, 900 and 1,000 yards.

"It's fun," said Maj. David Stapp, sustainment commander at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center in Camp Robinson, Arkansas.

Even though many competitors enjoy competing, they must spend a lot of time with their weapon to be successful.

"I have to know the data and wind charts to prepare," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ryan Landon of Creal Springs, Illinois, with the 3637th Support Maintenance Company in Springfield, Illinois.

The Soldiers have to know the data for their weapon and learn how wind affects distance and direction of their shot, which requires the Soldiers to practice in their personal time.

"I go to civilian ranges to practice on my own and start going over my wind charts and data in advance to mentally prepare," said Mix.

Braley Statement on Vote to Address ISIL Threat PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Monday, 22 September 2014 08:33

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement after his vote in support of an amendment designed to address the ISIL threat:


"ISIL is a threat to our country that must be eliminated. Today’s vote is an important step toward accomplishing that goal while preventing the United States from involving itself in another extended ground war and nation-building effort.  I will closely follow our mission against these violent terrorists in the weeks and months ahead and do whatever I can to keep all Americans safe and secure.”


Illinois National Guard generals receive Gold Polish Army Medal PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Friday, 19 September 2014 07:52

WASHINGTON, D.C. (09/12/2014)(readMedia)-- Senior Illinois National Guard leaders were awarded the Gold Polish Army Award and celebrated Polish Armed Forces Day at the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9.

Maj. Gen. Daniel Krumrei of Springfield, Illinois, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard along with Maj. Gen. William Cobetto of Hillsboro, Illinois, the Illinois National Guard Assistant Adjutant General-Air, and retired Maj. Gen. Dennis Celletti of Springfield, Illinois, received the Gold Polish Army Award for their support of Polish-American military cooperation.

"I accept this award on behalf of the 13,000 Soldier and Airmen of the Illinois National Guard who have been cooperating with the Polish Armed Forces for over 21 years and who have deployed with the Polish Armed Forces on every rotation to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003," said Krumrei.

The Polish Army Medal was established in September 1999 to recognize service to the Polish Army by foreign civilians and military personnel. The medal is presented in three grades Gold, Silver and Bronze by the Polish Minister of National Defence.

This year the Illinois National Guard conducted more than 30 separate engagements with the Polish military, strengthening collective defenses. In June, Soldiers participated in a biological response exercise in Poland. In October, 75 Soldiers and Airmen will participate in an exercise in Poland known as Anaconda Saber. Also in October, C130s from the 182nd Airlift Wing will deploy to Poland where they will fly side by side with the Polish C130s in support of NATO operations in Poland.

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