June 8 Ceremony Recognizes 633rd Theater Gateway Personnel Accountability Team

SPRINGFIELD, IL (06/04/2013)(readMedia)-- Approximately 10 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers will be recognized June 8 by the National Guard Bureau Freedom Salute Campaign for their sacrifice and service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The ceremony for the 633rd Theater Gateway Personnel Accountability Team based in Springfield will be 10 a.m. at Camp Lincoln; 1301 MacArthur Blvd. in Springfield.

The Soldiers mobilized in June 2012 and deployed to Kuwait. The 633rd was the first National Guard unit mobilized to provide operational control over the Theater Gateway at Ali Al Salem, Kuwait.

Soldiers were responsible for the initial reception, staging and onward movement of personnel deploying to the Central Command area of responsibility (CENTCOM AOR). The 633rd also coordinated the reception, lodging and movement of personnel from all branches for the rest and recuperation leave, emergency leave, and temporary duty in the CENTCOM AOR.

The team processed more than 40,000 deploying or redeploying troops. They also processed more than 35,000 individuals participating in the Theater Rest and Recuperation Leave program and issued more than 1,200 identification cards.

The Freedom Salute Campaign program is a small way to show these patriotic citizen-Soldiers, their families and employers how much their sacrifice is appreciated. On behalf of the National Guard Bureau, the Illinois Army National Guard will present each eligible Soldier with an encased American flag, as well as a sequentially-numbered

commemorative coin, certificate of appreciation and lapel pin. Families will also receive items recognizing their support and sacrifice.

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.

News media attending the event should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony and should notify the Public Affairs Office by 3 p.m., June 7 to be granted access onto Camp Lincoln. For more information call the Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569.

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