Military & Veterans News
Seven 183rd Fighter Wing, 217th Engineering Installation Airmen Receive Bronze Star Medals PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by readMedia   
Friday, 12 August 2011 00:00

SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/10/2011)(readMedia)-- Seven members of the Illinois Air National Guard's 183rd Fighter Wing, 217th Engineering Installation Squadron in Springfield were awarded Bronze Star Medals while serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from September 2010 through July 2011. Six of the Airmen received their medals during a ceremony at the 183rd Fighter Wing Aug. 6. The seventh Airmen will receive his medal at a later date. All seven members were key decision makers who had pivotal roles not only for themselves but for all 80 combined unit members who deployed.

"Receiving the Bronze Star is quite an honor," said Lt. Col. James Loux of Springfield, the 217th commander. "It represents the challenges our members faced from a long deployment and a deployment to a combat area."

Loux received a Bronze Star Medal for his service as the deployed commander of 80 Airmen during their first mobilization as Joint Expeditionary Tasked Airmen.

The Joint Expeditionary Tasking supporting the U.S. Army was comprised of Air Force members from three different Air National Guard units from around the United States. The team formed a cohesive group of engineers, cable and electronics teams and management teams based out of Bagram and Kandahar Airfields in Afghanistan. The primary mission while deployed was to install the centralized, strategic fiber optic network at 15 sites in support of the Technical Control Facility program. In addition, the team worked on various communication projects, including both engineering and installations, at more than 27 forward operating bases in Afghanistan.

Capt. Christopher Treff, of Mascoutah, received a Bronze Star Medal for his service as the lead engineer for all northern tier forward operating bases. He designed five technical control projects and more than 20 outside plant projects. He provided engineering expertise to the command staff for all projects within the combined joint operations area.

Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Keyfauver, of McHenry, received a Bronze Star Medal for his service in managing more than 90 communication projects from engineering to installation at more

than 20 separate sites in Afghanistan. The joint effort included teams of two to 10 Army technicians at various sites.

Senior Master Sgt. James Wynn, of Chicago, received a Bronze Star Medal for his service as the team chief for the first technical facility installation. He led a nine-man team who completed an $8 million project at Spin Buldak, a forward operating base in Afghanistan. In addition he installed 14,000 feet of copper and 46,000 feet of fiber, bringing 17 buildings online to the Afghan network.

Master Sgt. William Barnes, of Riverton, received a Bronze Star Medal for his service in deploying all 80 members in to and out of the theater of operations. He moved equipment, personnel and resources to 27 locations within Afghanistan. His efforts required constant communication with the host nation trucking, military and civilian airlift, and heavy equipment units and operators. He successfully shipped more than 2 million pounds of material, tools, equipment, vehicles and personnel within theater of operations.

Master Sgt. Scott Reynolds, of Chatham, received a Bronze Star Medal for his service as the supply material manager. He provided all logistical support for more than 50 members who deployed from Kandahar, Afghanistan. He ensured all members were fully outfitted, equipped and billeted.

Master Sgt. Michael Brennecke of Fenton, Mo., will receive a Bronze Star Medal for his service in support of the logistics management team. He was key in the engineering of 23 C4 infrastructure projects throughout the theater of operations. Brennecke will receive his medal at a later date since he was unable to attend the ceremony.

Under Loux's command, the unit completed more than 90 command and control communications projects at 27 locations throughout Afghanistan.

Individual photos of each Airman are available upon request. Please email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shaun Kerr, 183rd Fighter Wing/(Left to right) Master Sgt. Scott Reynolds of Chatham, Master Sgt. William Barnes of Riverton, Senior Master Sgt. James Wynn of Chicago and Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Keyfauver of McHenry, stand beside the 183rd Fighter Wing Commander Col. Michael Meyer, just before receiving their Bronze Star Medals during a presentation, Aug. 6 at the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield.

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Memorial Services for Illinois Army National Guard Soldier PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by readMedia   
Thursday, 11 August 2011 23:59

QUINCY, IL (08/10/2011)(readMedia)-- WHO:

• Illinois Army National Guardsman 1st Sgt. John DuPont of Quincy, with Company C, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Springfield.

WHAT:

• Visitation, funeral and gravesite services

WHEN/WHERE:

• Visitation services, Aug. 11, 4 to 7 p.m., Madison Park Christian Church, 4700 Broadway, Quincy.

• Funeral services, Aug. 12, 10 a.m., Madison Park Christian Church, 4700 Broadway, Quincy.

• Gravesite services, Aug. 12, immediately following the funeral service, Illinois Veterans Home, 1707 N. 12th St., Quincy.

WHY:

• As an Illinois Army National Guard medic, DuPont deployed overseas twice and served on several shorter medical missions.

• DuPont deployed to Iraq with Company C, 205th Medical Battalion in North Riverside from 2005 to 2006 and to Kuwait with the 708th Medical Company in North Riverside from 2007 to 2008.

• He also served in Germany, Nicaragua, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Guyana for medical missions that were each approximately a month long.

 

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First Army Commander links Army core values with local business PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Robert Saxon   
Tuesday, 09 August 2011 12:12
MOLINE, Ill - Lt. Gen. Bednarek, First Army commanding general believes business and Army leaders share some of the same goals and ideals, and this was the focus of his presentation to a group of community leaders at the Quad City chamber's Executive Club meeting at the i Wireless Center Aug 5.

"We are in the same business in developing and shaping our community and the Nation's future leaders, regardless of profession" Bednarek explained. "Grounded in the strength of our core values with dignity and respect; a strong work ethic and a belief in what we stand for. We build coach, train and educate teams to do a job and accomplish a mission."

"You and I know that as we train, build and strengthen the core of our workforce," Bednarek continued. "Whether it's a Soldier in the Army or a worker in a warehouse downtown, we are building stronger citizens, and ultimately a stronger America."

Recently, members of Iowa's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, were demobilized after returning from Afghanistan. "Great Americans, such as the Red Bulls served nine tough months serving the nation and protecting its national interests," said Bednarek. "Hiring vets is a good will act and good business."

Recalling a recent visit to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, Lt. Gen. Bednarek asked a Soldier what he did while he was participating in a training exercise. "Sir, I work at Lowes," he responded.

The First Army welcome event was hosted by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce to provide the area the opportunity to learn about their mission and how they will tie to their new community.

First Army is a multi-component command that serves as U.S. Forces Command's executive agent for providing training support to reserve component forces. The First Army mission is to mobilize, train, deploy and demobilize Reserve Component units at installations throughout the continental United States. 

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Governor Quinn Announces Key Appointment PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Friday, 05 August 2011 12:07

Army Veteran and Former Senior Staff Member for Gen. David H. Petraeus Erica Borggren Appointed Director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs

CHICAGO – August 5, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today appointed Erica Borggren as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. An Illinois native and Army Veteran, Borggren previously served as a senior staff member for Army Gen. David H. Petraeus. She replaces fellow Iraq war Veteran Dan Grant, who is leaving to pursue a post-graduate degree. Today’s action is the latest in a series of appointments the Governor is making as he continues to fulfill his commitment to serving Illinois’ Veterans.

“Time and again, Erica Borggren has shined in the armed forces,” Governor Quinn said. “Her outstanding service makes her an excellent choice to lead the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs as it fulfills its mission to serve the brave men and women who have sacrificed for this country. I thank Dan Grant for his hard work and am confident this department will continue to excel in its achievements. ”

Borggren served as a senior staffer and speechwriter for Gen. Petraeus during his time as Commanding General of multi-national forces in Iraq and as head of United States Central Command throughout the Middle East. For her service in these missions, Borggren was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star as well as the Joint Service Achievement and Iraq Campaign Medals. She returned home to Illinois from the Middle East in 2009.

"I am deeply grateful to Governor Quinn for this opportunity to serve those who have served our country in uniform,” Borggren said. “As a daughter of Illinois and a veteran who is committed to a life of public service, I am thrilled to have the chance to work with and for Illinois’ Veteran community."

Prior to her time in the Middle East, Borggren served in the United States Army Medical Service Corps in Yongsan, South Korea, rising as an officer in the 18th Medical Command to a Company Commander at the 121 Combat Support Hospital, for which she was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Following her graduation as valedictorian from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, she was designated as a Rhodes Scholar and the recipient of a Truman Scholarship. She later earned a master’s degree in comparative social policy from Oxford University. Borggren currently resides with her husband Erik, a West Point graduate and chaplain candidate in the Illinois National Guard, and their son Ethan in Chicago. 

Under Dan Grant’s leadership, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs spearheaded legislation to improve benefits for Veterans, including the Illinois Higher Education Veterans Act and the Illinois Educational Opportunity for Military Children Act. Grant was successful in significantly increasing census counts at the LaSalle and Manteno Veterans’ Homes, and he helped clear the way for the Chicago Veterans’ Home. Grant also administered more than $4 million in grants from Veterans Cash lottery ticket and was key to the establishment of Veterans courts across Illinois.

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Governor Quinn Announces August 7 Purple Heart Day in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Andrew Mason   
Friday, 05 August 2011 09:27

Annual Observance Will Honor and Remember Illinois Servicemembers Wounded or Killed in Action

CHICAGO – August 5, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation establishing Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day in Illinois. House Bill 1537 designates Aug. 7 as an annual day to honor and remember those in the military who have been wounded or killed in battle and honored with a Purple Heart. Since the legislation will not take effect until 2012, Governor Quinn also issued a proclamation to ensure that observance of Purple Heart Day will begin in 2011.

“Men and women of the U.S. military, especially those that sacrificed life or limb, deserve the honor and respect of all Americans,” Governor Quinn said. “I am proud to remember our Veterans by adding this ceremonial day for those who bravely served and protected the United States.”

“The Purple Heart is an honor available to all, but desired by none,” Daniel Finn said, State Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration still awarded to members of the United States military. It was established by General George Washington on August 7, 1782. Initially called the Badge of Military Merit, the Purple Heart is a decoration awarded to any member of the Armed Services who has been wounded or killed in action. Since World War I, nearly two million Purple Hearts have been awarded to combat veterans, including at least 42,000 from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

House Bill 1537 was sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). It takes effect Jan 1.

A copy of the proclamation is attached.

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