Military & Veterans News
MULTIMEDIA RELEASE: Braley Welcomes Quad Cities Honor Flight to Washington PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 11:19

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) welcomed the 16th Honor Flight from the Quad Cities to the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Honor Flight of the Quad Cities, a non-profit organization, was formed in 2008 to provide an opportunity for Quad Cities-area veterans to visit Washington to see historical sites and memorials at no cost to the veterans.

CORRECTED YouTube video of the event can be viewed here:

CORRECTED 1080p high-definition video can be downloaded here: 

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Honor Flight takes off on Thursday Sept 22nd PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Cathie Rochau   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:29

The 16th Honor Flight of the Quad Cities departs Thursday, September 22nd at 7 a.m. from the Quad City International Airport.  Guardians will arrive for check in at 5:00 a.m., followed by Veteran check-in at 5:30 a.m. Once the guardians & veterans meet each other, they will proceed through the screening checkpoint and receive coffee & donuts on the concourse before boarding begins.

There will be one more for 2011 which will be held on November 3rd.

As always, the public is welcome to attend the return ceremonies at the airport at night.  The usual arrival time for the public is 9:30 – 10:00 pm., with the veterans processing through the exit around 10:15 – 10:30 p.m.

Camp Wright Servicemembers Honor Fallen Comrade, Remember 9/11 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by readMedia   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:23

Soldiers from Riverton, Villa Park Among Those Observing Solemn Day in Afghanistan

KUNAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN (09/16/2011)(readMedia)-- Servicemembers at Camp Wright in Kunar Province spent a solemn day commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and celebrating the life of a fallen comrade Sept. 11.

Members of the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), the Illinois National Guard's 1-14th Illinois Agribusiness Development Team, the 102nd Forward Surgical Team and the 744th Engineer Company, Route Clearance Patrol 46 were among the military units participating in the day's events.

At 23 years old, U.S. Army Spc. John Cowgill, of Riverton, a security force member for the 1-14th Illinois Agribusiness Development Team.

Those events of a decade ago had a deep impact on who he is and on the direction his life has taken.

"Ten years ago I never thought I would be spending this day in Afghanistan," said Cowgill. "I still feel anger over what happened, but I've learned that anger can be channeled toward helping people and making a difference. That is what I see today and that is what makes me proud to be here."

A ceremony at the Camp Wright dining facility began the day of remembrance. Two members of the Kunar PRT, who were in New York on the day of the terrorist attacks, shared their experiences with those who had gathered.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Darlene Croston, of Binghamton, N.Y., an administrative specialist with the Kunar PRT, was working in New York as a nanny for a member of the New York Fire Department who was killed that day.

Croston said sharing those experiences was an important part of the occasion.

"Ten years [later], it might be easy to forget why we are here," she said. "Just as with any loss, time dulls the pain. It is important that we remember our goals so this country does not become an incubator for that type of terrorism again."

The ceremony concluded as an American flag, which was previously flown aboard the USS New York, was passed solemnly between enlisted servicemembers representing different units and branches of service.

The Cpl. Raphael Arruda Fitness Center in Afghanistan was dedicated during a separate ceremony later in the day.

U.S. Army Cpl. Raphael Arruda, of South Ogden, Utah, a combat engineer with the 744th Engineer Company, Route Clearance Patrol 46, was killed when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device during a combat patrol June 16.

Members of the 744th spoke of Arruda's love of physical fitness and said the dedication was a fitting tribute to the Soldier who grew up in Brazil and had recently received his U.S. citizenship.

U.S. Army Spc. Jonathan Hansen, of Layton, Utah, an operations specialist with the 744th, said his entire unit was behind the idea of the dedication.

"It started off as one person's idea, but everyone pitched in and it became a group effort," said Hansen. "All those who served with him will be happy to know his legacy is living on after we are gone. He would be very happy about this, but he would also be humbled. He would consider it a great honor."

A plaque bearing Arruda's name and the words "let's get swole" - a phrase he used to get others into the gym - was unveiled during the ceremony.

When night fell, residents of Camp Wright took to rooftops and high ground for an unobstructed view of the clear night sky. As illumination rounds lit the mountainside, someone spoke of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the ensuing War on Terrorism.

While many of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of Camp Wright were well into their military careers on Sept. 11, 2001, others were just beginning their careers as junior-high students.

Illinois National Guard Infantry Soldiers Honor the Heroes of Baatan PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by readMedia   
Friday, 16 September 2011 13:33

Story U.s. Army Spc. Christopher A. Garibay, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

MAYWOOD (09/12/2011)(readMedia)-- Soldiers from the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), including Col. Paul C. Hastings of St. Charles, commander of the 33rd IBCT, honored Soldiers who fought in the Battle of Bataan during World War II for the Maywood Bataan Day Organization's annual service Sept. 11 at Veterans Park in Maywood.

The Maywood Bataan Day Organization and the Village of Maywood jointly sponsored the event to bring awareness to the harsh conditions Soldiers endured during America's campaign in the Pacific in World War II.

Hastings, the keynote speaker for the event, honored the efforts of Soldiers in the past and stressed the importance of America's continued fight against terrorists today.

"I'm humbled and honored to pay tribute, collectively, to these heroes of Bataan; for those who gave so much and asked for nothing in return," said Hastings." "No American, no Filipino can ever, must never, forget."

Hastings said it was important for citizens to remember those committed to fighting in today's wars, having done so for over 10 years.

"Just as it was for the Greatest Generation, we bring the fight to the enemy - behind our flag is resolute purpose," he said. "To those we lost at the Fall of Bataan, and to those we lost after 9/11; we shall never forget."

Spc. Terron Carter, a Maywood native and a soldier from the 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Bowman Plainfield , the command sergeant major of the 33rd IBCT, honored the men of Bataan by placing a wreath on the 192nd Tank Battalion Memorial.

The 192nd, based in Maywood, was part of the Illinois National Guard's 33 rd Infantry Division, the predessor of today's 33rd IBCT.

The event included Guest Speaker Emilio O. Hildalgo, a retired colonel of the Judge Advocate Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and former Judge General of the Philippines Air Force. Hildalgo described in vivid detail the events surrounding the Battle of Bataan, and subsequently, what has been dubbed the Bataan Death March after Japanese forces captured Allied troops on April 9, 1942. It would not be until February 17, 1945 that Allied Forces would retake the Bataan Peninsula.

"Out of the 89 who left Maywood for the Philippines in 1941, only 43 came home," said Hildalgo. "We do not have any regrets. We have fought for a good and just cause. We have done our duty for God and Country."

The memorial event also paid tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and passengers of Flight 93. First responders were also commemorated at the event.

Edwin H. Walker IV, Vice President of the Maywood Bataan Day Organization, said it was humbling to know people who were committed to serving in America's Armed Forces today as well as honoring those who served in the past.

Special guests included the U.S. Navy Great Lakes Ceremonial Band, American Legion Posts, VietNow Color Guard, local elected officials and veterans.

photo 1) U.S. Army photo by and PFC Alisha D. Grezlik, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs/ Spc. Terron Carter, a Maywood native and a soldier from the 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery Regiment, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Bowman of Plainfield, the command sergeant major of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, honor the men of Bataan by placing a wreath on the 192nd Tank Battalion Memorial.

photo 2) U.S. Army photo by Spc. Christopher A. Garibay, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs/ Col. Paul C. Hastings of St. Charles, commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, bows his head in prayer during the Maywood Bataan Day Annual Memorial Service in Maywood Sept. 11 at Maywood. The event sought to remember the efforts of Soldiers in the past, present and future.

Governor Quinn Honors Fallen Heroes on Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2011 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Andrew Mason   
Friday, 16 September 2011 08:12

Unveils Portrait of a Soldier Memorial Exhibit, Encourages Remembrance and Service

CHICAGO – September 11, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Gold Star families to honor the sacrifices that Illinois servicemembers have made in the global war against terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001. Governor Quinn unveiled the Portrait of a Soldier Memorial exhibit this morning at DePaul University in Chicago.

“As we observe the anniversary of one of America’s darkest days, we must remember those who have given their lives to protect our country and the debt we owe them that can never be repaid,” Governor Quinn said. “I am proud today to stand with some of Illinois’ true heroes – our Gold Star families – as we honor the sacrifice they and their loved ones have made.”

The Portrait of a Soldier Memorial exhibit, which has been viewed by thousands of people throughout Illinois, is a series of hand-drawn portraits of more than 250 Illinois men and women who have died in service to our country since Sept. 11, 2001.

Starting today, the exhibit will be on display at DePaul University’s Loop campus at 333 South State Street through September 16.

Artist Cameron Schilling of Mattoon drew the first portrait of a soldier in August 2004, after Army Spc. Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, was killed in Iraq. Schilling presented the portrait to Spc. Neely’s parents to convey his sympathy for their loss. In Oct. 2005, while a student at Eastern Illinois University, Schilling decided to draw a portrait of every Illinois servicemember who has fallen during the Global War on Terror.

Governor Quinn is encouraging Illinois residents to pause today and recognize the servicemen and servicewomen who have lost their lives fighting for democracy overseas and the thousands of Illinois troops that have served around the world in the 10 years since September 11, 2011. All state buildings have been directed to fly their flags at half-mast from sunrise to sunset.

In recognition of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Governor Quinn also proclaimed today a day of service and remembrance. A copy of the proclamation is attached.


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