Military & Veterans News
35th Infantry Division General Visits Illinois Guard Troops in Minnesota PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. 1st Class Mike Chrisman, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Monday, 16 July 2012 13:35

CAMP RIPLEY, MINN. (07/14/2012)(readMedia)-- Brig. Gen. Victor Braden, Assistant Division Commander of the 35th Infantry Division (ID) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. visited Camp Ripley, Minn. July 13 to observe Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers training.

"This is a great opportunity for the brigade and the Soldiers," Braden said. "I am very impressed. Training like this is good for the Army as a whole and it's great that our Soldiers have opportunities like this."

Approximately 3,200 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers are at Camp Ripley for the eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) exercise. The training simulates realistic situations Soldiers could encounter in combat.

Col. Paul Hastings of St. Charles, Ill., Brigade Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) said the 15 months of planning for the exercise has made it a success.

"This exercise is going exactly as planned," said Hastings. "Soldiers and leaders are stressed and doing their best to improve."

The 33rd IBCT, with headquarters in Urbana, has 30 companies throughout Illinois. The 33rd was the first unit in the country to participate in XCTC operations in 2007 as they prepared for a deployment to Afghanistan.

Braden said training has evolved since he came into the Army in 1980.

"There is more technology, but the basics are the same," Braden said. "This is a great example of how they have improved training to better prepare our Soldiers for a successful mission."

The 33rd IBCT and 35th ID have historical ties. In 2006 Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 66th Brigade, 35th ID consolidated and was designated Headquarters, 33rd IBCT.

Photo: Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Mike Chrisman, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment/ Brig. Gen. Victor Braden (left), Assistant Division Commander for the 35th Infantry Division at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. visits Camp Ripley, Minn. July 13. Braden, along with Brig. Gen. Johnny Miller of Tamms, Ill., Assistant Adjutant General of the Illinois Army National Guard (center) and Col. Paul Hastings of St. Charles, Ill., Brigade Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team observe 33rd Soldiers conducting training.

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Great News! We're Over Our Goal! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Move America Forward   
Monday, 16 July 2012 13:32


GREAT NEWS! Thanks to a very generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, we are able to raise our goal to get care packages to more of our troops in Afghanistan. We set a modest goal of $250,000 because contributions had been dropping as our economy stalls.

We're now in a position to get care packages to most of the troops that are in harm's way. To get that many care packages, we raised our goal to $400,000 and are now only $28,539 short of hitting that mark. Can you help push us over the top so our military men and women will know they are not forgotten?

Combined with all the other money that has come in overnight, we're now at a total of $371,461 raised for the Troopathon. That means we've achieved our initial goal, thanks to the generosity of many awesome patriots like yourself! 

HUGE THANKS to everyone who has donated thus far! Now let's see if we can accomplish something really spectacular this year and see if we can raise up to $400,000 to make sure that none of our troops overseas are forgotten! 

We've worked so hard to get where we are now, but if we just keep going a little longer, I know we can raise another $28,539! It would be an amazing morale boost to our troops if they could receive $400,000 in support this summer.

Don't our troops deserve it?


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Illinois ESGR Public Affairs Director Honored for Work with Committee PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Lt. Col. Tim Franklin, National Guard Illinois   
Monday, 16 July 2012 13:18

Headquarters ESGR Names Holub 2012 Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year

SPRINGFIELD, IL (07/13/2012)(readMedia)-- Headquarters Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) recently announced Michael Holub, Public Affairs Director for the Illinois Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, as the ESGR Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year for 2012. Holub of Berwyn, received the award in recognition of his outstanding support to ESGR in helping the Illinois Committee publicize its many activities throughout the state over the past year.

The Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year Awards is a national-level ESGR award established to recognize the Public Affairs volunteer who has made the most significant contributions to his or her ESGR State Committee during the previous calendar year.

"We recognize the significance of your valued service and dedication of personal time to the Illinois Committee for ESGR," said James Rebholz, ESGR National Chair, in a letter congratulating Holub on his selection for the award. "Your active participation in this vital program has done much to enhance ESGR overall. Your hard work and dedication to our organization and our nation are deeply appreciated."

As the Public Affairs Director for the Illinois ESGR Committee, Holub works to publicize and promote the activities of the committee's more than 150 volunteers throughout the state on behalf of the men, women and employers of the National Guard and Reserve. He also maintains the committee's social media presence on its Facebook page.

"I want to thank Mike Holub for his continued outstanding support to the Illinois ESGR Committee and the ESGR mission to create a culture in which employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve," said Dr. Michael Ayers, Ph.D., State Committee Chair for Illinois ESGR. "His support to the Illinois Committee as our Public Affairs Director has been invaluable in helping us spread the word about ESGR, who we are and what we do on behalf of Guard and Reserve service members and those who employ them. This national recognition of his efforts is very well-deserved."

Holub will receive the 2012 ESGR Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year Award at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. in September. He has been a volunteer member of the Illinois ESGR Committee since 2004. Holub is the Chief of Police of the Village of La Grange.

Nearly 5,000 volunteers serve on ESGR State Committees across the nation. The 54 ESGR State Committees conduct employer support programs, including informational briefings, neutral mediation and recognition of employers whose policies support or encourage participation in the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR is the lead advocate within the Department of Defense for Reserve Component employers.

Braley's Bipartisan "Blueprint for Veterans Opportunity" Takes Another Step Forward in US House PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 13 July 2012 12:24

Measures will strengthen veterans’ employment protections, enhance mortgage safeguards, and block deceptive targeting of vets by educational institutions 

Washington, D.C. – A package of bipartisan bills authored by Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01), dubbed the “Blueprint for Veterans Opportunity,” has been approved by the US House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.  The measures will help improve economic opportunities and job protections for America’s military veterans.

The proposals were first advanced two weeks ago by the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, where Braley is the highest ranking Democrat.

Braley’s “Blueprint” will strengthen employment protections for veterans seeking medical treatment for service-related injuries, enhance protections from home foreclosures against veterans, and target deceptive marketing practices by some educational institutions by providing veterans with standard information about available higher education options.

“The ‘Blueprint for Veterans Opportunity’ advanced by the Veterans’ Affairs Committee today will strengthen protections for veterans’ jobs, homes, and educational benefits,” said Braley.  “This is a step forward for America’s returning veterans.  I’m encouraged that these proposals attracted such strong bipartisan support.  It shows what’s possible when we put aside party labels and work together to do good for men and women who have sacrificed so much for us.”

The bills were passed with the overwhelming bipartisan support of the Veterans’ Affairs panel.  Braley has worked closely with Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman (IN-03) for months on these and other legislative proposals to improve economic prospects for veterans.  In October 2011, for example, Braley and Stutzman hosted a field hearing on reducing the unemployment rate among returning National Guard veterans in Waterloo, Iowa.

More detailed summaries of the components of Braley’s “Blueprint for Veterans Opportunity” follow:

HR 5747, Military Family Home Protection Act. Includes Braley language that ensures opportunities for housing and employment by 1) expanding and improving protections from home foreclosures against military veterans and surviving spouses of servicemembers who died while serving our country; and 2) providing military and National Guard veterans up to 4 weeks of unpaid leave from their employer each calendar year for treatment for a service-related injury without fear of losing their jobs.

HR 4057, Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act. Includes Braley language that targets aggressive and deceptive marketing to service members and veterans by some educational institutions and provides veterans with standard information about post-secondary institutions to help vets make more informed choices about college.

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$750K Raised for Military Families and Veterans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Angie Taylor   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 14:46

In April, Hardee’s launched its Stars for Heroes in-store fundraiser benefiting military charities, including The Mission Continues and USA Cares. Thanks to your readers’ generous donations, we’re happy to announce more than $750K raised thus far (by CKE Restaurants - Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s) to assist military families and veterans.

To participate, restaurant guests donated $1 in support of military charities. For each $1 donation, guests received a commemorative “Stars for Heroes” cut out to personalize and place on display in the restaurant; in addition, they received restaurant coupons valued at more than $10 to use toward future purchases.

While the in-store fundraiser has concluded, consumers are able to continue backing the nation’s military communities through a special donation page housed on the Stars for Heroes Facebook page (

More information about Stars for Heroes is available here: Thanks again to you and your readers for the support! I look forward to sharing additional news with you about Hardee’s future military fundraising efforts.

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