Military & Veterans News
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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Freedom Salute Ceremonies for Milan-Based Battalion Recognize Unit for Service in Egypt PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by readMedia   
Tuesday, 02 August 2011 16:18

MILAN, IL (08/02/2011)(readMedia)-- Approximately 440 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery Regiment in Milan will be recognized Aug. 6 and 7 by the National Guard Bureau Freedom Salute Campaign for their sacrifice and service while they deployed to Sinai, Egypt. Three separate ceremonies will take place to honor the Soldiers with the battalion.

The Soldiers mobilized in May 2010 as part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), and returned home to their families May 14, 2011. The international peacekeeping force oversees the terms of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

"Our Soldiers did an outstanding job accomplishing their mission," said Lt. Col. Maurice Rochelle of Flossmoor, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery commander. "There were no major accidents, incidents or casualties during our deployment and we succeeded in every facet of our mission. I am proud of the work these Soldiers have done representing Illinois and their families should be proud of them as well."

The Milan-based 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery Regiment includes the Forward Support Company, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Milan; Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Milan; Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Milan; Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Macomb and Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Galesburg.

While the mobilization included units from northwest Illinois, Soldiers are from all areas of Illinois.

The Freedom Salute Campaign is one of the largest Army National Guard recognition endeavors in history. It is designed to publicly acknowledge Army National Guard Soldiers and those who supported them while deployed.

Date Unit Location Time Approx. # of Soldiers

Aug. 6 Battery B Macomb Armory, 135 W. Grant St.; Macomb 10 a.m. 90

Aug. 6 Battery C Galesburg Armory, 362 N. Linwood Road; Galesburg 2 p.m. 90

Aug. 7 Headquarters, Battery A, Forward Support Company Augustana College, 3703 7th Ave.; Rock Island (Centennial Hall) 10 a.m. 250

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