Military & Veterans News
Illinois Soldiers Test Personal Limits Running Half Marathon in Kuwait PDF Print E-mail
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Written by U.S. Army Spc. Nicole Burbach, 444th Chemical Company   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:37

CAMP VIRGINIA, KUWAIT (04/18/2012) (readMedia)-- Attempting a half marathon only a few days after arriving in Kuwait may seem unheard of to some people. But for 20 members of the Illinois Army National Guard's 444th Chemical Company based in Galesburg, it was an opportunity to test personal limitations.

Runners like Sgt. Ashley Lasiowski, of West Chicago, who arrived with the company a few days prior to the race, found the motivation to run because of the challenge, she said.

"I wanted to test myself and accomplish something I have never done before," she said.

Camp Virginia conducts a half marathon every six months and multiple 5K races throughout the year. There were 386 Soldiers who competed in the half marathon, April 15.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," said Staff Sgt. Stephanie McCurry of Abingdon. "It was a great run and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be."

This was the first half marathon any of the Illinois Soldiers had completed. They all had a similar goal in mind.

"I've never ran that far all at once before," said Spc. Anastasia Evans of Alton. "I wanted to try and run it in two and a half hours."

When asked how the runners would celebrate reaching individual goals, the general consensus was the same: ice cream.

Twenty other Soldiers volunteered to hand out water, stock food for the end of the race and provide roadside security to make the race a success.

"After running this half marathon, I plan on running another and maybe a full marathon in the future," said McCurry.

The 444th Chemical Company arrived to Kuwait a little more than a week ago and is expected to be deployed for approximately one year.

2012 Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Ceremony PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jill Joseph   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:30

Iowans will honor their Vietnam Veterans at a remembrance ceremony to be held Monday, May 7th, 2012, beginning at 12:00 p.m. at the Vietnam Memorial − located on the south side of the State Capitol in Des Moines. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War.

The ceremony will include keynote speaker Bill McCarthy, Vietnam Veteran, Sheriff, Polk County, Iowa, and guest speaker Lawrence Paul, Vietnam Veteran, retired IWD Executive Officer, Mason City.

The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs is honored to present this event. Please join us as we unite in remembrance of those who served, and those who sacrificed their lives for our country.

For further information contact Jill Joseph, Outreach Coordinator, Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, 515-242-0033 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Lt. Governor Simon accepting applications to military committee PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kara Beach   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:29

SPRINGFIELD – April 18, 2012. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced today that her Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC) is currently accepting applications for two new citizen members. The volunteer group advocates for the retention and reuse of the state’s military bases and works to foster a strong economic connection between the installations and their local economies.

“We look forward to welcoming new voices to our committee to continue our important work in supporting the state’s military families and regional economies,” Simon said.

Current members include retired military personnel and economic development officials, as well as four members of the General Assembly and representatives from various state agencies. A successful candidate may draw on personal and professional experiences in military, economic development, education or governmental fields.

The application announcement came Wednesday at the IMBSEDC’s quarterly meeting. Applications are now being accepted, and more information can be found here.



Grantham University Selects Army Master Sergeant, Reginald Hurt from Davenport, Iowa, as 2012 Outstanding Graduate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Johanna Altland   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:00

Grantham University has selected Master Sergeant Reginald Hurt as its 2012 Outstanding Graduate. MSG Hurt completed his Bachelor of Science – Multidisciplinary Studies degree in December 2010 and his Master of Business Administration – Project Management degree in April 2012, graduating Summa Cum Laude in both degrees.

photo of outstanding graduate

2012 Outstanding Graduate, MSG Reginald Hurt

Quote startI wanted to not just attend college, but to retain and use my lessons throughout my career and future endeavors.Quote end

Kansas City, Mo. (PRWEB) April 18, 2012

Grantham University, a 61 year old institution delivering accredited online degrees to working adult students around the world, has selected Master Sergeant Reginald Hurt as its 2012 Outstanding Graduate. MSG Hurt completed his Bachelor of Science – Multidisciplinary Studies degree in December 2010 and his Master of Business Administration– Project Management degree in April 2012, graduating Summa Cum Laude in both degrees.

On April 17, 2012, Dr. Jeffrey Cropsey, vice president for strategic initiatives at Grantham University, presented MSG Hurt with the Outstanding Graduate Award at the Distance Education and Training Council’s (DETC) 86th Annual Conference.

“I was honored to present this award to such an outstanding candidate,” said Dr. Cropsey. “Reggie truly embodies what it means to be a successful working adult student. He started his courses at Grantham with a goal in mind – to obtain his undergraduate degree and graduate with honors – and went on to achieve that and so much more.”

Since the inception of the DETC Outstanding Graduate Program twenty-nine years ago, Grantham University has awarded this honor to one of its graduates each year. Criteria for this award include a GPA of 3.5 or higher, evidence that the graduate has made significant contributions to society and his/her chosen profession, as well as an essay submission demonstrating the graduate’s application of knowledge and skills acquired in the online classroom to his/her career and community.

“I realized the importance of a valid and useful degree,” commented MSG Hurt. “I wanted to not just attend college, but to retain and use my lessons throughout my career and future endeavors.”

MSG Hurt has served proudly in the Army for the past 28 years. While on tour in Afghanistan, he provided input for sewage, roads and infrastructure improvements for new facilities for Afghanistan soldiers and police forces. MSG Hurt also served as the lead engineer for the force protection analysis, planning and upgrades of Kabul’s voting sites during Afghanistan’s first ever election.

In August 2011, while pursuing his master’s, MSG Hurt was selected for Sergeant Major. He currently serves as a senior enlisted advisor in the Army Sustainment Command. MSG Hurt holds the Bronze De Fleury Medal, which is presented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a Bronze Star amongst his military awards.

For more information about Grantham University and its online degree programs, visit: or call 800-955-2527.

About Grantham University:
Established in 1951, Grantham University is a private institution that specializes in online education for the working adult student. Its mission is to provide accessible, affordable, professionally relevant online degrees in a continuously changing global society. Grantham University’s online undergraduate and graduate degree programs include: Accounting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Computer Science, Engineering Technology, Health Sciences, Information Technology, Medical Coding and Billing, Nursing, Human Resource Management and Business Intelligence. Grantham University offers military scholarships for active duty, reserve, guard, veterans and military family members, as well as scholarships for law enforcement professionals. Grantham's courses are 100% online, allowing students to study at home, at work, on Temporary Duty (TDY) or from almost anywhere in the world. Accredited since 1961 by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, Grantham University has compiled a distinguished record as a respected and accredited distance learning university spanning six decades of service to education.

Schilling Testified In Support of Veterans' Health Care Legislation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 09:26

Washington, DC – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) and a number of his colleagues testified yesterday before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health in support of various pieces of legislation relating to health care for American war veterans.  Schilling in December introduced H.R. 3723, the Enhanced Veteran Health Care Experience Act.  

“I truly believe you can tell a lot about a country by the way it treats its veterans,” Schilling said in his testimony.  “I’m pursuing this legislation in large part because of the many constituents who constantly share their stories of having to drive long distances while experiencing substantial wait times in an effort to make sure they can get the health care they need.  But I also experienced this in my own family when helping to take care of my father – who served in Korea – near the end of his life.  We had to drive several hours to and from Iowa City for him to get the care he needed.  While we appreciated the service and the care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, I also believe that we must continue to make improvements for our veterans.”

This legislation would allow, but not require, veterans to use fee-based care in their home towns with their own doctors.  Under the current veterans’ health care system, veterans are shuttled back and forth between the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and their local doctors’ offices, bound by the red tape that exists in the fee-based care system administered by the VA.  This red tape only exacerbates working with their local doctors’ offices to receive the health care they need.  While increasing the ease with which veterans can receive care, studies and statements by the Government Accountability Office, Office of the Inspector General, and Veterans Service Organizations suggest that implementing the changes in this bill will create savings for the VA and address medical care concerns that veterans have when working with the VA fee-based care system.

“This idea is near and dear to me, and has received a positive response from veterans I have spoken with in my district,” Schilling said in his testimony.  “The Congressional process is in place so that we can perfect legislation.  That is what I am working to do on this bill.  Since H.R. 3723’s inception and also from its introduction, I have continued to work with Veteran Service Organizations to address their concerns.  I hope to continue to do this with the VSOs and the Committee.”

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