Military & Veterans News
Military Children Everywhere Invited to Write about Their Favorite Books for A Chance to Win Great Reading Prizes PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Stephanie Himel-Nelson   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 09:14

Blue Star Families’ Books on Bases essay contest open during April, the Month of the Military Child

Washington, D.C. (April 6, 2012)—Military families love to read! One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is the ability to read and Blue Star Families wants to know what books your military family is reading together.  During April, the month of the military child, Blue Star Families invites military kids everywhere to share their family’s favorite book for a chance to win great prizes!

“April is a great time to remember all the sacrifices that military children make when their parents serve, as well as the positive experiences of being in a military family,” said Mark Smith, executive director of Blue Star Families. “Our essay contest focuses kids and their parents on the family fun that comes from reading together, and the highlights the benefits of doing so.”

Since 1986 April has been designated the Month of the Military Child and throughout the month, Blue Star Families is hosting an essay contest for military children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Any child with a parent or sibling in active duty, Reserve or National Guard service can enter by answer the question, “What is your favorite book to read ALOUD as a family and why?”

From the 100 word or less entries, Blue Star Families will select four winners at the end of the month for prizes including a Barnes & Noble Nook, a set of 20 new books, a webcam, a certificate for a free story from Be There Bedtime Stories, and a certificate of achievement from Blue Star Families.

Added Smith, “This is a great opportunity for every military family. Reading as a family is so important, especially for military families. Plus, who wouldn’t want a free Nook?”

Each entry should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it before 11:59 pm Eastern Time on April 28, 2012. Visit for more details and the full rules, terms, and conditions.

About Books on Bases
The Books on Bases program works positively impact the lives of military children through the power of reading.  Blue Star Families continues its mission to promote literacy among military children by providing books to military children, military base libraries, Department of Defense Schools, military impacted public schools and community libraries.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit


News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Bettendorf Hy-Vee   
Friday, 06 April 2012 12:47
Bettendorf, IA -- Officials with Hy-Vee and Honor Flight of the Quad Cities will hold a news conference Monday to discuss details of the upcoming Hy-Vee Honor Flight.

Hy-Vee is providing financial support for the first Korean War Era Veterans Honor Flight, which is scheduled to take off May 22nd from Quad City International Airport in Moline with approximately 162 Korean veterans and their guardians on board. These veterans will be traveling to Washington, DC to view our nation’s monuments honoring their sacrifice and service to their country.

Please join us this Monday for an update on the Honor Flight of the Quad Cities program and be the first to hear about some of the exciting events planned in conjunction with the Hy-Vee Honor Flight.

WHAT:  Honor Flight news conference

WHEN:  Monday, April 9, 2012, 11:00am

WHERE:  Bettendorf Hy-Vee, 2900 Devils Glen Road

WHO:  Representatives from Hy-Vee, Inc., Representatives from Honor Flight of the Quad Cities, and Korean War Veterans

1644th Transportation Company Returns from Kuwait PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by National Guard PAO Illinois   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 15:11

Homecoming Ceremonies Planned April 5 at Rock Falls and Springfield National Guard Armories

ROCK FALLS, IL (04/03/2012)(readMedia)-- Homecoming ceremonies are scheduled for April 5 for approximately 170 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers with the 1644th Transportation Company in Rock Falls. Ceremonies will take place in Rock Falls and Springfield.

Mobilized in July 2011, the 1644th deployed to Kuwait in August in support of Operation New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.

The mission of the 1644th included hauling cargo throughout Iraq and Kuwait. The unit completed approximately 175 transportation missions in Kuwait and Iraq with no casualties. The Soldiers traveled 4.1 million miles, hauled more than 35,000 tons of cargo and transported more than 7,500 pieces of equipment to help the United States in its withdrawal from Iraq. The achievements of the 1644th resulted in 185 awards, including 28 Soldiers recommended for Bronze Stars. The 1644th also received a Unit Safety Streamer for its vigilance while deployed.

The 1644th was the last long-haul transportation convoy to leave Iraq Dec. 18, 2011 as the United States concluded operations in Iraq.

"This was a historic moment for the United States of America and the people of Iraq," said Capt. Michael Barton of Greenview, commander of the 1644th. "Just the fact that the Illinois National Guard and the 1644th played such a big part in the final convoy is very special."

The 1644th was previously mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from October 2004 to October 2005.

Media attending one of the homecoming ceremonies should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the anticipated start time. Media attending the Springfield ceremony are asked to RSVP to the Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569 to be granted access onto Camp Lincoln.

Location/Time/Number of Soldiers

Rock Falls Armory; 716 6th Ave.; Rock Falls at Noon for approximately 115 Soldiers

Camp Lincoln; 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Springfield at 8 p.m. for approximately 60 Soldiers

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Illinois National Guard Trains Soldiers to Handle Sexual Assaults PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. James Sims, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 08:16

April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month; Illinois National Guard Program Teaches Prevention While Teaching Response Techniques

SPRINGFIELD, IL (04/03/2012)(readMedia)-- In a recent episode of ABC's Private Practice, a Soldier returning from Afghanistan was forced to deal with events that occurred while he was deployed overseas. After the fictional character attempted suicide, it is evident more aggressive methods of treatment are needed to help the Soldier who is trying to cope with returning to civilian life, as well as a sexual assault that occurred overseas.

In real life, sexual assault within the ranks of the military is not a new problem. It is, however, a problem that has made it necessary for the military to conduct its own annual reporting on the crisis.

"Illinois was one of the first states to take the situation seriously and hire a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) full-time to address and implement the state's program," said Master Sgt. Christy Sipes of Rushville, who was the first SARC the Illinois National Guard hired full-time to manage the program. "It has evolved rapidly over the past five years, but the message remains that sexual assault is an important topic that commanders must address."

In 2011, there were 160 reports of sexual assault in the National Guard. In Illinois there were eight sexual assaults and two sexual harassment cases reported. Although assaults mostly occur while Soldiers are in non-duty status, victims assaulted during deployments often report the incident upon returning to their home state.

Since the inception of the sexual assault programs in 2005, the Illinois National Guard responded to 29 reported incidents of sexual assaults. Some of the incidents occurred prior to the Soldier joining or transferring in the Illinois National Guard.

"People are coming forward knowing their chain of command will have their backs," said Kim Schaefle of Warrenville, the assistant sexual assault response coordinator with the Illinois National Guard. "Sexual assault prevention has become a major priority for the Illinois National Guard."

While there are no easy ways to deal with the trauma of sexual assault, there are many resources available throughout the military, and more are being developed to insure the victim is protected and assisted in recovery.

The National Guard is in a unique position because most of the reported assaults did not take place during duty hours, therefore not providing the program any latitude for proper reporting, said Sipes. Illinois is a victim supportive state with many programs available to victims of violent crime, which is a tool that is frequently used. Illinois is fortunate to have these programs to help offset the cost of lost wages and clothing during an assault. The clothes and items become evidence and therefore the person loses them, Sipes added.

All Soldiers have to complete Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention training annually. The Illinois Army National Guard is leading the nation in training compliance.

"Our main goal in this annual class is to let the Soldiers know about the reporting options that are available to them if they are a victim of sexual assault," said Sgt Maj. Diane S. Rogers of Girard, Illinois Army National Guard's SARC. "The two options are restricted and unrestricted reporting. Most do not know that they have an option."

The Illinois National Guard is a microcosm of society. Although the military is typically held to a higher standard, assaults occur in the military ranks just like they do in the civilian sector. The Illinois National Guard has made it a priority to make sure assistance is available for victims.

"We also want the Soldier to know that there is help for them if they are a victim of sexual assault," Rogers said. "The SARCs and Unit Victim Advocates and Chaplains are here for them."

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and commits to raising awareness and promoting the prevention of sexual violence through use of special events and public education.

"This is an issue that must not be limited to one month a year," Rogers said. "It is an ongoing problem that must get better and it is up to everyone in the military to make sure they are doing their part to prevent, report and support."

Photo: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael Camacho, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs/ Theresa Duncan a trauma nurse specialist, sexual assault nurse examiner with St. Johns Hospital in Springfield speaks to nearly 70 Soldiers with the Illinois National Guard attending the two week Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention training Feb. 23 at Camp Lincoln in Springfield. The Soldiers met with a panel of sexual assault response experts from the Springfield area.

For high resolution photos, please contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Illinois National Guard, Partners in Care Reach out to Clergy Groups PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by National Guard PAO Illinois   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 08:08

SPRINGFIELD, IL (04/03/2012)(readMedia)--


• Illinois National Guard chaplains, community clergy and the Partners in Care program


• The training is designed to raise awareness among community religious leaders about the challenges faced by servicemembers and their families, with a focus on deployment related issues such as anger management, suicide prevention, military marriages, and church and community support for the military.

• Partners in Care is a program dedicated to providing servicemembers community resources through local congregations.


Date Location Time

April 10 Joliet Armory; 2900 W. Jefferson St., Joliet 9 a.m.

April 12 Chicago Armory; 5200 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago 9 a.m.

April 17 Mount Vernon Armory; 205 7th St., Mount Vernon 9 a.m.

April 18 Elgin Armory; 254 Raymond St., Elgin 9 a.m.

April 25 Camp Lincoln Illinois Military Academy, 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd., Springfield 9 a.m.


• The goal of Partners in Care is to provide military personnel with local community support in their geographical area.

• There are 72 congregations across Illinois that are part of the organization, which was started in fall 2009.

• Faith group leaders will receive pertinent information to minister, not only to military personnel, but to the community.

**All are encouraged to attend. For further information, please contact Chaplain Lambert at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 773-406-5183.

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