Military & Veterans News
Illinois National Guard Soldier Credits Others for Military Career PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by 1st Lt. April Hawes, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs   
Monday, 02 April 2012 08:39

Nelson Officially Retires April 30 After 27 Years of Service in ILARNG

SPRINGFIELD, IL (03/30/2012)(readMedia)-- With every military memory and mission, Col. Tracy Nelson of Springfield, is not afraid to give credit to those who have shaped him into the commissioned officer and Soldier he is today. After 27 years in the Illinois Army National Guard (ILARNG), Nelson will retire April 30.

While Nelson credits many Soldiers throughout his career, he said it is the noncommissioned officers (NCOs) who taught him the most.

It all started when he enlisted in the active component of the U.S. Army in 1975. He was just 17, grew up with five brothers and five sisters on a small Minnesota farm and needed his father's signature to serve his country. He was stationed in Germany for three years as a crewman for CH-47 Chinook helicopters that transported nuclear weapons. During this assignment, young Pvt. Nelson was introduced to a group of seasoned NCOs who served in Vietnam.

"The NCOs from Vietnam were empowered; they owned the Army," he said. "They have had the largest impact on my life...and on the rest of my career."

After his tour in Germany, Nelson decided to get out of the U.S. Army to go to college in East Peoria. He soon realized he missed the military, so a friend and ILARNG aviation Soldier convinced him to join the ILARNG and enroll in officer candidate school (OCS).

Out of his entire OCS Class that graduated in 1985, Nelson is one of only three Soldiers who still remain in the ILARNG. One of those Soldiers, Col. B.J. Mayberry of Springfield, with Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) in Springfield, was his battle buddy during OCS and vividly remembers a moment of Nelson's resiliency during training.

"On a night land navigation event he took off running, with me attempting to keep up, when all of a sudden he practically fell to his knees," Mayberry said. "I caught up only to find he had ducked under a tree and had stuck a piece of the tree in his eye and it looked like a dagger sticking out of his face. He grunted, grabbed the stick, pulled it out and yelled 'Let's go!' We ended up beating the rest of the class in that night by close to a half an hour."

Once he commissioned, Nelson started his career with 1st Battalion, 123rd Infantry Regiment. He was with the battalion until 1993 and made it to the rank of captain.

He said it was during this time that he and his fellow Soldiers enforced a standard he was familiar with while on active duty. Realistic training was a priority and the battalion initiated training that had never been done before.

"We're going to train like we're going (to war) tomorrow," Nelson said. "If we're going to be here, we're going to do it right."

The third OCS classmate who is still in the ILARNG, Col. Tom Weiss of Sherman, with JFHQ, was in the 123rd with Nelson.

"With Nelson, don't slow down or he will run you over," said Weiss. "He likes to boast, but he backs it up with action!"

In 2003, Nelson, now a lieutenant colonel, faced his first deployment. While he had never deployed, he frequently travelled across the country and the world.

He was at annual training with the 33rd Area Support Group when he was told, within days, he was deploying to Iraq. First he immediately reported to U.S Central Command in Tampa, Fla., for a two-week mission. He then returned home to Illinois on a Thursday to pack his bags and say good-bye to his family before he left Sunday morning for the year-long deployment.

Nelson said the quick turn-around was easier because it left less time for him and his family to think about it. His wife, Debbie, understood it was simply part of the job. She said she was used to him travelling but admitted an entire year to Iraq was a little different than two or three weeks across the country or the world.

"It's who we are and what we do. You accept it and move forward," she said. "It's a mental state. It's no different than going out and running a race. It's a will to win."

She said some days were easier than others but she never let their children have pity parties or feel sorry for themselves because their dad was in Iraq. At the time, their son Everett was in fifth grade and their daughter Madeline was in first grade. Nelson's daughter Kathleen, from a previous marriage, was 16.

This deployment was the first Multi-National Division (MND) deployment with the Polish Armed Forces and the ILARNG.

When he returned, he became the 108th Sustainment Brigade commander. The 108th was going through a transformation and Nelson's OCS battle buddy was by his side.

"I would say one of my most memorable training events was working with him when he (took command of) the 108th," said Mayberry. "The 108th ended up arguably the best brigade in the state. It was a lot of hard work and relentless pressure to attain excellence but in the end I wouldn't trade that transformation for any of my other military experiences."

Then in 2010, Nelson faced his second and final deployment. Again, along with a team of ILARNG Soldiers, he deployed with the Polish Armed Forces for a joint mission to Afghanistan. This mission was the deadliest deployment the Polish had experienced since World War II. Now a colonel, Nelson was even a personal target of a suicide bomber while on a mission.

"You can't stop doing your mission because you're a target," he said. "My Soldiers were a target every day."

Debbie said Everett and Madeline understood this deployment a little more since they were older and because military deployments were fairly common. She said Nelson made both deployments a little easier, too, because he kept his family and the children's school friends informed about what he was doing and where he was at.

Despite Nelson's busy career, Debbie said the two of them have always spent time together, which she knows will continue into his retirement.

"Tracy and I are best friends, so we're always together," she said.

Looking to the future, Nelson plans to spend some time coaching Madeline, who is now a freshman in high school. He also said he hopes to spend more time at the family's South Carolina home, which is where Everett is living while attending the Citadel.

Despite his future plans, he said he'll miss the Soldiers he grew up with and the ILARNG Soldiers of the next generation.

"I'll miss the Soldiers the most," he said. "There is a small core of guys who know what you have to do. It's all about leadership, which I've learned from my NCOs."

 

 
Illinois State Military Museum Houses Medals of Honor, History of Valor PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by National Guard PAO Illinois   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:05

SPRINGFIELD, IL (03/23/2012)(readMedia)-- In 2007, March 25 was established as National Medal of Honor Day, the official day that honors the servicemembers of the U.S. military whose actions of valor inspired generations and the nation.

The action performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life.

Illinois has been home to nearly 110 Medal of Honor recipients who have served in the Illinois National Guard beginning with the Civil War. Two of the original medals as well of decades of history is preserved within the walls of the Illinois Military State Museum.

There the many examples in the Illinois National Guard like 1st Sgt. Johannes S. Anderson of Finland, who entered service from Chicago, assigned the Illinois National Guard's Company B, 132nd Infantry, 33rd Division, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions at Consenvoye, France during World War I.

His citation reads "While his company was being held up by intense artillery and machinegun

fire, First Sergeant. Anderson, without aid, voluntarily left the company and worked his way to the rear of the (machinegun) nest that was offering the most stubborn resistance. His advance was made through an open area and under constant hostile fire, but the mission was successfully accomplished, and he not only silenced the gun and captured it, but also brought back with him 23 prisoners."

Civil War veteran Sgt. George F. Rebmann of Schuyler County, entered service at Browning, with Company B, 119th Illinois Infantry, he received the Medal of Honor for capturing a confederate flag April 9, 1865 during a battle at Fort Blakely, Ala.

Anderson and Rebmann are among many heroes who served in the Illinois National Guard or Militia who received the medal for valor on the battlefield. Both Anderson's and Rebmann's medals are among the many artifacts at the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield detailing the Illinois National Guard's history from the Civil War to present.

While the day was made official only three years ago, the legacy of the Medal of Honor and the servicemembers who were awarded it span more than 150 years of Illinois history.

President Abraham Lincoln, a veteran of the Illinois Militia, signed a bill issuing the highest military decoration on July 12, 1862. He called it the Medal of Honor. Lincoln intended for the medal to stand as a symbol of the bravery and selflessness individual's display in combat.

The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President in the name of Congress to a person who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty. Military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The Army regulation recognizes the incontestable proof of the performance of the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

The Medal of Honor is presented to those who make a major sacrifice and some who make the ultimate sacrifice. Those who were killed in action were awarded the medal posthumously.

As President George W. Bush said regarding the Medal of Honor, "Citations are also written in the most simple of language, needing no embellishment or techniques of rhetoric. They record places and names and events that describe themselves. The medal itself bears only one word and needs only one, valor."

 
Illinois National Guard Medal of Honor Recipients from Civil War to World War II PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by National Guard PAO Illinois   
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:33

SPRINGFIELD, IL (03/23/2012)(readMedia)-- Sunday, March 25, marks National Medal of Honor (MoH) Day. The Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office encourages all media wishing to feature a story on Illinois National Guard MoH recipients from their areas to contact the office for more information. Please view the list below for Illinois National Guard MoH recipients from your area

• About 111 Soldiers with the Illinois Army National Guard who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor from the Civil War to World War II.

• Cpl. Abner P. Allen of Woodford County, Ill, entered service at Bloomington, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 39th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Petersburg, Va., issued May 12, 1865

• Pvt. John G.K. Ayers of Washlinaw, Mich., entered service at Pekin, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 8th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 31, 1895

• Cpl. Matthew Bickford of Peoria County, Ill., entered service at Trivolia, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 8th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 31, 1894

• Lt. Col. John C. Black of Lexington, Miss., entered service at Danville, Ill., enlisted in 37th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Prairie Grove, Ark., issued October 31, 1893

• Cpt. William P. Black of Woodford, Ky., entered service at Danville, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 37th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Pea Ridge, Ark., issued October 2, 1893

• 1st Lt. Wells H. Blodgett of Downers Grove, Ill., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 37th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Newtonia, Mo., issued February 15, 1894

• Pvt. John G. Bourke of Philadelphia, Pa., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 15th PA CAV, awarded MOH for actions at Stone River, Tenn., issued November 16, 1887

• Pvt. Emmer Bowen of Erie County, N.Y., entered service at Hampshire, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 127th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 21, 1894

• Pvt. William W. Burritt of Campbell, N.Y., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 113th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 8, 1896

• Pvt. John H. Callahan of Shelby County, Ky., entered service at Macoupin County, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 122nd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued June 8, 1865

• 1st Lt. Horace Capron Jr. of Peoria, Ill., entered service at Peoria, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 8th IL CAV, awarded the MOH for actions at Chickahominy and Ashland, Va., issued September 27, 1865

• Cpl. Samuel J. Churchill of Rutland County, Vt., entered service at DeKalb County, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 2nd Light Artillery, awarded for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued January 20, 1897

• Sgt. Carlos W. Colby of Merrimack, N.H., entered service at Madison County, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 97th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 31, 1896

• Sgt. John H. Cook of England, entered service at Quincy, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 119th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Pleasant Hill, La., issued September 19, 1890

• Cpl. Robert M. Cox of Guernsey County, Ohio, entered service at Prairie City, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 55th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued December 31, 1892

• Pvt. John Creed of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 23rd IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Fishers Hill, Va., issued October 6, 1864

• Pvt. James S. Cunningham of Washington County, Pa., entered service at Bloomington, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 8th MO INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 30, 1894

• Sgt. John S. Darrough of Kentucky, entered service at Concord, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 113th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Eastport, Miss., issued February 5, 1895

• Cpl. James Dunne of Detroit, Mich., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 15, 1895

• Sgt. Maj. John M. Farquhar of Scotland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in 89th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Stone River, Tenn., issued August 6, 1902

• 1st Lt. John H. Fisher of Monmouth, Pa., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 55th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Sgt. Henry Fox of Germany, entered service at Lincoln, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 106th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions near Jackson, Tenn., issued May 16, 1899

• Pvt. William W. Fraser of Scotland, entered service at Alton, Ill., enlisted in Co. I, 97th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued October 24, 1895

• Pvt. Richard J. Gage of Grafton County, NH, entered service at Ottawa, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued October 30, 1897

• Cpt. Nicholas Geschwind of France, entered service at Pleasant Hill, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 116th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 24, 1894

• Pvt. Andrew E. Goldsbery of St. Charles, Ill., entered service at St. Charles, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 127th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 9, 1894

• Pvt. Newton T. Gould of Elk Grove, Ill., entered service at Elk Grove, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 113th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 6, 1894

• Chap. Milton L. Haney of Ohio, entered service at Bushnell, Ill., enlisted in 55th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Atlanta, Ga., issued November 3, 1896

• Lt. Col. Douglas Hapeman of Ephratah, N.Y., entered service at Ottawa, Ill., enlisted in 104th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Peach Tree Creek, Ga., issued April 5, 1898

• Pvt. Henry M. Hardenbergh of Noble County, Ind., entered service at Bremen, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 39th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Deep Run, Va., issued April 6, 1865

• Sgt. James Henry of Sunfish, Ohio, entered service at Kankakee, IL, enlisted in Co. B, 113th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• Sgt. Thomas J. Higgins of Canada, entered service at Barry, Ill, enlisted in Co. D, 99th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued April 1, 1898

• Cpl. Patrick Highland of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 23rd IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Petersburg, Va., issued May 12, 1865

• Cpl. Lemuel F. Holland of Burlington, Ohio, entered service at La Salle County, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued October 30, 1897

• Pvt. George L. Houghton of Canada, entered service at Brookfield, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued March 27, 1900

• Mus. Orion P. Howe of Portage County, Ohio, entered service at Woken, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 55th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued April 23, 1896

• John Hughey of Louisville, Ky., entered service at Anna, Ill., enlisted in Co. L, 2nd OH CAV, awarded MOH for actions at Sailors Creek, Va., issued May 3, 1865

• 1st Sgt. Theodore Hyatt of Penn., entered service at Gardner, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 127th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• Samuel Hymer of Harrison County, Ind., entered service at Rushville, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 115th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Buzzard's Roost Gap, Ga., issued March 28, 1896

• Cpl. Elisha Johns of Clinton, Ohio, entered service at Martintonk, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 113th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 9, 1894

• Pvt. Andrew Johnson of Delaware County, Ohio, entered service at Assumption, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 116th Ill. INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 9, 1894

• Pvt. David Johnston of Indiana County, Penn., entered service at Warsaw County, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 8th MO INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 16, 1884

• 1st Lt. Simeon T. Josselyn of Buffalo, N.Y., entered service at Amboy, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 13th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Missionary Ridge, Tenn., issued April 4, 1898

• Sgt. Leverett M. Kelley of Schenectady, N.Y., entered service at Rutland, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 36th IL INF, received MOH for actions at Missionary Ridge, Tenn., issued April 4, 1900

• Pvt. Charles H. Kloth of Europe, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 15, 1895

• Pvt. George Kretsinger of Herkimer County, N.Y., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 20, 1897

• Pvt. Joseph S. Labill of France, entered service at Vandalia, Ill., enlisted in 6th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 14, 1894

• Cpl. James W. Larrabee of Rensselaer County, N.Y., entered service at Mendota, Ill., enlisted in Co. I, 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Pvt. Robert A. Lower of Illinois, entered service at Elmwood, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Pvt. George W. Lucas of Adams County, Ill., entered service at Mt. Sterling, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 3rd MO CAV, awarded MOH for actions at Benton, AR, issued December 1864

• Sgt. George Marsh of Brookfield, Ill., entered service at Brookfield, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued September 17, 1897

• Capt. Samuel McConnell of Belmont County, Ohio, entered service at Bushnell, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, AL, issued June 8, 1865

• Pvt. Andrew McCornack of Kane, Ill., entered service at Rutland, Ill., enlisted in Co. I, 127th Ill., awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 10, 1895

• Pvt. John W. McDonald of Lancaster, Ohio, entered service at Wayneville, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 20th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., issued August 27, 1900

• Sgt. Thomas McGraw of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 23rd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Petersburg, Va., issued May 12, 1865

• Pvt. Patrick McGuire of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 15, 1895

• 1st. Lt. Nineveh S. McKeen of Marshall, Ill., entered service at Marshall, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 21st IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Stone River, Tenn., issued June 23, 1890

• Cpl. James K. Merrifield of Penn., entered service at Manlius, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 88th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Franklin, Tenn., issued March 28, 1896

• Cpt. Henry A. Miller of Germany, entered service at Decatur, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 8th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued June 8, 1865

• Pvt. Jacob C. Miller of Bellevue, Ohio, entered service at Geneva, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 113th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 20, 1894

• Pvt. Wilbur F. Moore of Lebanon, Ill., entered Lebanon, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 117th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued February 22, 1865

• Pvt. Jerome Morford of Mercer County, Pa., entered service at Bridgers Corner, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Mus. Robinson B. Murphy of Oswego, Ill., entered service at Oswego, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 127th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Atlanta, Ga., issued July 22, 1890

• Cpl. Thomas C. Murphy of Ireland, entered service at Pekin, Ill., enlisted in Co. I, 31st IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 14, 1893

• Pvt. Marcellus J. Newman of Richview, Ill., entered service at Richview, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 111th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Resaca, Ga., issued May 13, 1899

• Pvt. John O'Dea of Ireland, entered service at Clinton, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 8th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 12, 1894

• 1st. Lt. Menomen O'Donnell of Ireland, entered service in Illinois, enlisted in Co. A, 11th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 11, 1897

• Mus. George H. Palmer of New York, entered service in Illinois, enlisted in 1st IL CAV, awarded MOH for actions at Lexington, Mo., issued March 10, 1896

• Cpl. James W. Parks of Lawrence County, Ohio, entered service at Xenia, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 11th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued February 24, 1865

• 1st. Lt. Thomas H.L. Payne of Boston, Mass., entered service at Mendota, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 37th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued April 1, 1898

• Cpt. Patrick H. Pentzer of Marion County, Mo., entered service at Gillespie, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 97th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued October 9, 1879

• 1st Sgt. Edward M. Pike of Casce, Maine, entered service at Bloomington, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 33rd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Cache River, Ark., issued March 29, 1899

• Col. Philip Sidney Post of Florida, NY, entered service at Galesburg, Ill., enlisted in 59th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued March 18, 1893

• Cpl. Wesley J. Powers of Canada, entered service at Virgil, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 147th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Oostanaula, Ga., issued October 24, 1895

• Cpl. Winthrop D. Putnam of Southbridge, Mass., entered service at Peoria, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 77th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued April 4, 1898

• Sgt. George F. Rebmann of Schuyler County, Ill., entered service at Browning, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 119th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued June 8, 1865

• Pvt. William Reed of Union County, Pa., entered service at Pekin, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 8th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued December 12, 1895

• Pvt. Charles W. Rundle of Cincinnati, Ohio, entered service at Oakley, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 26, 1894

• Pvt. Jacob Sanford of Fulton County, Ill., entered service at Prairie City, Ill., enlisted in 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Pvt. Benjamin W. Schenck of Butler County, Ohio, entered service at Maroa, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 14, 1894

• Maj. John M. Schofield of Gerry, NY, entered service at St. Louis, Mo., enlisted in 1st MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Wilsons Creek, Mo., issued July 2, 1892

• Pvt. John Shapland of England, entered service at Ottawa, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued October 30, 1897

• Lt. William T. Simmons of Green County, Ill., entered service at Green County, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 11th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued February 24, 1865

• Pvt. Oscar Slagle of Fulton County, Ohio, entered service at Manlius, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued October 30, 1897

• Pvt. Reuben Smalley of Redding, NY, entered service at Brookfield, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 83rd IN INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• Sgt. Edward B. Spalding of Ogle County, Ill., entered service at Rockford, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 52nd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., issued January 15, 1894

• Cpl. Benona Sprague of Onondaga County, NY, entered service at Chencys Grove, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 10, 1894

• Pvt. William G. Stephens of New York, NY, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued December 21, 1894

• 1st Lt. George H. Stockman of Germany, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 6th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• Pvt. George Stokes of England, entered service at Jerseyville, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 122nd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued February 24, 1865

• Sgt. Henry H. Taylor of Jo Daviess County, Ill., entered service at Galena, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 45th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 1, 1893

• Sgt. William Toomer of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 127th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• 2nd Lt. James D. Vernay of Lacon, Ill., entered service at Lacon, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 11th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued April 1, 1898

• Pvt. Thomas J. Ward of Romney, W. Va., entered service at Macon County, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 27, 1894

• Cpl. John Warden of Cook County, Ill., entered service at Lemont, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Lt. Col. Loyd Wheaton of Calhoun County, Mich., entered service at Illinois, enlisted in 8th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued January 16, 1894

• Cpt. Patrick H. White of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 15, 1833

• Pvt. John Whitmore of Brown County, Ill., entered service at Camden, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 119th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued June 8, 1865

• Pvt. Andrew J. Widick of Macon County, Ill., entered service at Decatur, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 11, 1894

• Pvt. Elwood N. Williams of Philadelphia, Pa., entered service at Havana, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 28th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Shiloh, Tenn., issued September 28, 1897

• Cpt. Richard H. Wood of Cumberland, NJ, entered service at Woodburn, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 97th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued December 12, 1895

The following are Medals of Honor accredited to Illinois during WWI:

• Cpl. Jake Allex of Prizren, Serbia, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 131st IL INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions at Chipilly Ridge, France, issued under G.O. No. 44, 1919

• 1st Sgt. Johannes S. Anderson of Finland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions at Consenvoye, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• 1st Sgt. Sydney G. Gumpertz of San Raphael, Calif., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions in Bois-de-Forges, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• Cpl. Ralyn M. Hill of Lindenwood, Ill., entered service at Oregon, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 129th INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Donnevoux, France, issued under G.O. No. 34, 1919

• Pvt. Berger Loman of Bergen, Norway, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Consenvoye, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• Cpt. George H. Mallon of Ogden, Kans., entered service at Minneapolis, Minn., enlisted in 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions in the Bois-de-Forges, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• Cpl. Thomas A. Pope of Chicago, Ill., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. E., 131st INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions at Hamel, France, issued under G.O. No. 44, 1919

• Sgt. Willie Sandlin of Jackson, Ky., entered service at Hyden, Ky., enlisted in Co. A, 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions at Bois-de-Forges, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• Pvt. Clayton K. Slack of Plover, Wis., entered service at Madison, Wis., enlisted in Co. D, 124th Machine Gun Battalion, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Consenvoye, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

The following are Medals of Honor accredited to Illinois during WWII:

• Pfc. Dexter J. Kerstetter of Centralia, Wash., entered service at Centralia, Wash., enlisted in Co. C, 130th INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Caliano, Luzon, Philippine Islands, issued under G.O. No. 97, 1945

• Sgt. John R. McKinney of Woodcliff, Ga., entered service at Barberton, Ohio, enlisted in Co. A, 123rd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Tabio, Luzon, Philippine Islands, issued under G.O. No. 14, 1946

• Staff Sgt. Howard E. Woodford of Barberton, Ohio, entered service at Barberton, Ohio, enlisted in Co. I, 130th INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Tabio, Luzon, Philippine Islands, issued under G.O. No. 14, 1946

 
THE COUNTRY IS AT WAR! BUT THE PEOPLE ARE AT THE MALL DON'T FORGET ABOUT OUR TROOPS! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Move America Forward   
Friday, 23 March 2012 13:42
Don’t let our troops be forgotten! Every day when we read the news it's the same headlines over and over. The media is obsessed with election coverage, football teams trading players, and which football team Peyton Manning is going to. There is no coverage about our important mission in Afghanistan.

While our troops are out fighting the terrorists, America is at the mall, worrying about our own problems when there are brave troops overseas who NEED OUR ATTENTION AND SUPPORT! We can't let our brave military men and women be forgotten, especially not with Easter just around the corner!

SEND AN EASTER CARE PACKAGE.
REMIND OUR TROOPS THAT WE HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN THEM!


Reminding us of the importance of our mission, a statement was released today by Senators McCain, Graham and Lieberman, as a plea to the American people not to forget the importance of our mission in Afghanistan and the troops who are winning the war on terror.

"The painful lesson we learned on Sept. 11, 2001, remains true today: What happens in Afghanistan directly affects our safety here at home. We abandoned Afghanistan in the 1990s, and the result was a fanatical regime that allowed its territory to become a base for global terror attacks, while inflicting medieval tyranny on the Afghan people, especially women. If we quit Afghanistan again, and abandon the millions of Afghans who have risked everything to be our allies in the hopes of succeeding together, the consequences will be disastrous for both our peoples".


- Joint Letter, March 21, 2012
Sen. John McCain
Sen. Joseph Lieberman
Sen. Lindsey Graham

Our troops need us now! Show your support by sending a box full of goodies and necessities ! Your personal message will be sent in a care package packed by our volunteers and sent along with a box full of goodies including special Easter treats! The Easter Holiday is coming up quickly, so get your orders in now!



Don’t Forget! We’re On the Lookout for Troops!

Soldier Registration is easy! If you have the address of someone on active military duty, such as a spouse, child or sibling, you can click here for our Soldier Sign Up to register each one with the program, or copy this link:

http://www.moveamericaforward.org/apply-servicing.php

e-mail it to them so they can register themselves. Once registered, they will be eligible to receive a package and messages of support from caring fellow Americans.

 
Illinois Airman Earns Guard Bureau's Noncommissoned Officer of the Year PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. Charles Helmholt   
Friday, 23 March 2012 12:46

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE , IL (03/21/2012)(readMedia)-- There may not be one perfect Guardsman in the United States, but there is one Illinois Guardsman who was recognized as the best noncommissioned officer (NCO) in the country by the National Guard Bureau.

Illinois Air National Guardsman Tech. Sgt. Jacob Curtis of Fairview Heights, with the 126th Security Forces Squadron at Scott Air Force Base was recently named the 2011 NCO of the Year for the entire National Guard.

Curtis discovered he won this award March 16 with a direct phone call from Maj . Gen. Willaim L. Enyart of Belleville, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, who congratulated him on his nationally recognized award.

"It was so surreal at first," said Curtis. "It felt like my head was floating."

He won the highest national achievement the National Guard has to offer and now is in the running to be one of 12 Air Force-wide Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

Curtis won the NCO of the Quarter, third quarter 2011, Squadron NCO of the Year in 2008 and 2011, Mission Support Group NCO of the Year 2011, 126th Wing NCO of the Year 2011, and finally NCO of the year for the Air National Guard 2011.

"Technical Sgt. Jacob Curtis is a gifted and giving professional and is most deserving of this crowning achievement," said Col. Peter Nezamis of Belleville, commander of the 126th Air Refueling Wing at Scott Air Force Base. "Technical Sgt. Curtis and his family have endured long and painful separations countless times in support of overseas operations. I couldn't be more pleased with the honor of having Tech. Sgt. Curtis and his family represent the 126th Air Refueling Wing as an Air National Guard Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year."

Curtis is the noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of the plans section for the Illinois Air National Guard's 126th Security Forces Squadron. He is also the information security officer and client support administrator, all while performing his primary job as a security forces officer.

"He is a go-getter," said Tech. Sgt. Salvador Silva of Belleville, the 126th Security Forces' acting first sergeant. "He wants to be a part of everything and always wants more responsibility; this shows in his job here, and with his level of education."

Curtis grew up a military child. His father James retired as a lieutenant colonel at Scott AFB and has called southern Illinois home since he was 15. He attended high school in O'Fallon.

Staff Sgt. Steven J. Ask of Shiloh, NCOIC of combat arms for the 126th has known Curtis since high school, and now serves in the same unit with him.

"I've really gotten to know him since joining the unit," said Ask. "He is one of the first people I call if I need something here, and one of the few people I feel I can talk to about anything. His work ethic is above and beyond most other peoples. He completely looks after others, his troops, his friends, even if he didn't know the person he would look out for them."

Perhaps this quality might best be justified from an event that took place on Curtis' recent deployment to Afghanistan.

While serving as the battle NCO at the Joint Defense Operations Center at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, a nearby building was hit by indirect enemy rocket fire. The blast killed two local nationals and wounded three. In addition, two Airmen were also injured.

Noticing the closest Airmen to the blast had to retain security along the base's wall to guard against a follow up attack, Curtis sprang into action. He was among the first to reach the building and found one of the wounded Airman. The Airman had a broken leg that had lacerated his femoral artery.

Curtis administered aid by tying a tourniquet around the downed Airman's leg to help stop the bleeding, and waited to help carry him out until emergency medical technicians arrived. He was awarded a certificate of appreciation for his actions that day.

Curtis insists his entire unit should receive this award and that he just embodies his unit's commitment to excellence. And, although it may be true there are many great Airmen like Curtis, he has more than proven himself for this award to his peers, his friends and his superiors.

"We are all extremely proud of him," said Ask. "Having him here serves as an example of what a person in the Guard can achieve and he inspires us to strive for that level of achievement."

Curtis said he looks forward to his career and new challenges.

"I hope to continue on my career path and try to stay at this level of achievement. I'm at the top right now so it'll be a challenge, but a challenge I'm definitely looking forward to taking on," he said.

 
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