Military & Veterans News
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. Michael Camacho, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs   
Monday, 06 August 2012 14:21

SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/03/2012)(readMedia)-- SPRINGFIELD - Fire fighters and police officers throughout the Litchfield area came to aid the victims after a Megabus crash on Aug. 2 that killed one and injured three dozen.

Among those assisting the first-responders were two Illinois National Guard Soldiers, Cadet Casey Fay of Edwardsville, with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment in Litchfield and Pfc. Christopher Morris of Robinson, with 445th Chemical Company in Shiloh.

The two were driving from Camp Lincoln in Springfield, headed to their office at the Illinois National Guard's East St. Louis Readiness Center in East St. Louis when they came across the crash.

Morris said as they passed the wreck, they saw firefighters and EMTs assisting people at the scene.

"We both felt it in our gut that we should get out there and help these people," said Morris.

Fay, a combat medic and certified EMT, helped the first responders treat the victims. Morris, who just returned from a Search and Extraction class, assisted with litters and patient aid.

Fay said the first responders were happy to receive the additional help from the two Soldiers. They directed the two to help the walking wounded and get casualties on to stretchers to be transported for further treatment. They also assisted with gathering patient information.

After most of the walking wounded were triaged, they were loaded on to a bus to be transported to Litchfield community center for further medical treatment.

Fay was assigned as the primary medic on one of the buses transporting patients to the community center. Morris stayed on scene to help more casualties get on stretchers to be transported to area hospitals.

"We were glad we stopped and helped out," said Fay. "They definitely put our skills to good use."

News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Steward Reeve   
Monday, 06 August 2012 14:17


SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/03/2012)(readMedia)-- To recognize the 200th anniverary of the War of 1812, Don Ferricks, assistant curator of the Military Museum and Living Historian will display and discuss the uniform and equipment of a Regular Army Soldier of the time.


Don Ferricks, assistant curator of the Illinois State Military Museum and Living Historian


To recognize the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the Fort Dearborn massacre, the Illinois State Military Museum will feature Living Historian Don Ferricks who will display and discuss the uniform and equipment of a Regular Army Soldier of the time. Admission and parking are free.

WHEN: Wednesday August 15, 2012 at 01:00PM Central Time (US & Canada)

WHERE:Illinois State Military Museum
1301 N. MacArthur Blvd
Springfield, Illinois 62702


The Illinois State Military Museum displays the history of the Illinois National Guard from 1723 to the 21st Century. Located two blocks north of the intersection of MacArthur Blvd. and North Grand Ave. in Springfield, Ill., the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Contact the museum at (217) 761-3910 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit Become a museum Facebook Fan at To learn more about Illinois National Guard history visit

Military Professionals - The Ultimate Olympians PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Move America Forward   
Monday, 06 August 2012 07:35

With the whole world watching the Olympic games in London, this is a perfect opportunity to recognize some amazing military athletes who not only serve in the Armed Forces, but are now competing to be the best in the world at the Olympics.

It may surprise some people, but there are actually many military veterans and currently serving troops who are on Team U.S.A. competing in every event from shooting sports to wrestling and others. Naturally, the our troops play a big role in Team USA's marksmanship team in the shooting events. These are some of our Military Olympians who are simultaneously serving in the US Army Marksmanship Unit and also on Team USA. Keep reading every day from now through the end of the Olympics as we bring you the stories of our Military Olympians and their impressive achievements both on and off the battlefield!

We're celebrating military athletes who serve their country on the battlefield and as part of TEAM USA at the Olympic games.

While these Military Olympians deserve our praise and all the media coverage the Olympics brings, we can't forget about the military heroes serving overseas.

Their feats on the battlefield often go unrecognized and are not covered by the media, but they are just as deserving of our praise and recognition as our Olympians.

We have over 90,000 troops still serving in Afghanistan and they need our support!


This is still about the troops who are on the front lines fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda. They are in harm's way and they're the troops we're sending care packages to!

Gov. Branstad orders flags at half-staff to honor Sgt. Michael E. Ristau PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 08:57

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad is ordering all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, until 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 for Sgt. Michael E. Ristau., 25, originally of Cascade.

Sgt. Ristau was killed in Afghanistan, while serving on active duty in the U.S. Army, on July 13, when the vehicle he was riding in was attacked by an improvised explosive device.

The governor’s directive applies to all U.S. and state flags under the control of the state. H.R. 692, signed in 2007, requires federal government agencies in the state to comply with the governor’s executive order that the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff in the event of the death of a member of the Armed Forces.

Flags will be at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.

Ristau is survived by his wife, Elizabeth L. and sons, Hyle Ristau, of Tacoma, Wash., and Bradley Ristau, of Tennessee; his parents, Randy L. and Suzanne M. Ristau, of Cascade; sister Halie Ristau of Cascade; and brothers Christopher Powers of Dubuque, Iowa and Jesse Carrier of Bolivar, Mo.; grandmother Gertrude Meyer of East Dubuque, Ill. and grandfather Vernon Thomas, of Dubuque; father-in-law and mother-in-law Dan and Karen Lemley of Tacoma; and brother-in-law Collin Lemley of Tacoma.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 4 at 11 a.m. at the Cascade City Park.

The U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol on the day of the funeral will be presented to Sgt. Ristau’s family at a later date, along with a proclamation honoring him.


Veterans and the Minimum Wage PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jon Soltz   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 08:48

Recently, Wisconsin Representative Sean Duffy ran away from a veteran, who was trying to ask him about what he was going to do about raising the minimum wage.  As a veteran, I was dismayed that a United States Congressman would try to avoid someone who served our nation.  But then I began to consider the issue of the minimum wage, and why a veteran like this one would be so concerned about seeing it raised.

When I volunteered to serve in the armed forces, I was motivated by a sense of pride in America’s status as a land of opportunity. Too many of the soldiers I served with have come home to economic hardships unbefitting their service and our country.  Vets are not immune from the downward trend toward low wages and low incomes in our economy and many I know struggle just to meet their basic needs.

We believe, as a country, that anyone who puts in a full day’s work should be able to live off their earnings: This is one reason why we established a federal minimum wage over 70 years ago. But July 24 marked the three year anniversary of the last time the federal minimum wage was increased. Over the past three years, the minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 per hour – just over $15,000 per year for full-time work – even as the cost of basic expenses like food or gasoline has continued to rise.

Thankfully, Congress has now started to act in order to ensure that low-wage workers do not have to endure another year of stagnant pay. Just a matter of days after the three-year anniversary passed on July 24, Senator Tom Harkin and Representative George Miller introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012, which would raise the minimum wage to $9.80 by 2014, increase the tipped minimum wage to 70 percent of the full minimum wage, and index both to automatically increase with the rising cost of living.

If these bills were passed, over 28 million low-wage workers in the U.S. would see their paychecks rise by over $5,000 per year. The workers who would benefit from this bill are people that many of us meet every day – checkout clerks, restaurant servers, and homecare workers – almost 90 percent of whom are adults over the age of twenty.

While raising the minimum wage would provide much-needed support to these workers, it would also help support the economy as a whole by boosting consumer spending and giving businesses the customer base that they need in order to start hiring again. If we acted now to pass this proposed increase in the minimum wage, we could prop up our frustratingly sluggish economic recovery by generating more than $25 billion in GDP and creating the equivalent of over 100,000 jobs.

We cannot sit by while the paychecks of America’s lowest-paid workers continued continue to get squeezed by rising prices. Raising the minimum wage is a modest step that we could take right now to ensure that real opportunity is available for all who work for it.

For veterans, when you consider that the highest unemployment rate among veterans is in the youngest age bracket (18-24), minimum wage jobs are often what these young returning troops rely on, while they gain the skills and education necessary on which they can build a career.

But if we don’t pass an increase in the minimum wage, we have little reason to expect the economy to provide the same boost on its own. Low-wage jobs, primarily in the service sector, have already accounted for a majority of all job growth in the wake of the recession. Meanwhile, the largest employers of low-wage workers – retail giants like Wal-Mart and fast-food chains like McDonalds – are actually earning stronger profits today than they were before the recession, even as they continue to pay their employees the minimum wage.

The promise of opportunity in America is threatened today by a job market that does not allow many to work their way out of poverty. As a veteran I have seen men and women in uniform make incredible sacrifices to protect this promise of opportunity.  It’s time for Congress to do its part as well by raising the minimum wage, and stop running away from the issue in more ways than one.


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