SPRINGFIELD, IL (03/23/2012)(readMedia)-- In 2007, March 25 was established as National Medal of Honor Day, the official day that honors the servicemembers of the U.S. military whose actions of valor inspired generations and the nation.

The action performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life.

Illinois has been home to nearly 110 Medal of Honor recipients who have served in the Illinois National Guard beginning with the Civil War. Two of the original medals as well of decades of history is preserved within the walls of the Illinois Military State Museum.

There the many examples in the Illinois National Guard like 1st Sgt. Johannes S. Anderson of Finland, who entered service from Chicago, assigned the Illinois National Guard's Company B, 132nd Infantry, 33rd Division, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions at Consenvoye, France during World War I.

His citation reads "While his company was being held up by intense artillery and machinegun

fire, First Sergeant. Anderson, without aid, voluntarily left the company and worked his way to the rear of the (machinegun) nest that was offering the most stubborn resistance. His advance was made through an open area and under constant hostile fire, but the mission was successfully accomplished, and he not only silenced the gun and captured it, but also brought back with him 23 prisoners."

Civil War veteran Sgt. George F. Rebmann of Schuyler County, entered service at Browning, with Company B, 119th Illinois Infantry, he received the Medal of Honor for capturing a confederate flag April 9, 1865 during a battle at Fort Blakely, Ala.

Anderson and Rebmann are among many heroes who served in the Illinois National Guard or Militia who received the medal for valor on the battlefield. Both Anderson's and Rebmann's medals are among the many artifacts at the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield detailing the Illinois National Guard's history from the Civil War to present.

While the day was made official only three years ago, the legacy of the Medal of Honor and the servicemembers who were awarded it span more than 150 years of Illinois history.

President Abraham Lincoln, a veteran of the Illinois Militia, signed a bill issuing the highest military decoration on July 12, 1862. He called it the Medal of Honor. Lincoln intended for the medal to stand as a symbol of the bravery and selflessness individual's display in combat.

The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President in the name of Congress to a person who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty. Military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The Army regulation recognizes the incontestable proof of the performance of the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

The Medal of Honor is presented to those who make a major sacrifice and some who make the ultimate sacrifice. Those who were killed in action were awarded the medal posthumously.

As President George W. Bush said regarding the Medal of Honor, "Citations are also written in the most simple of language, needing no embellishment or techniques of rhetoric. They record places and names and events that describe themselves. The medal itself bears only one word and needs only one, valor."

SPRINGFIELD, IL (03/23/2012)(readMedia)-- Sunday, March 25, marks National Medal of Honor (MoH) Day. The Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office encourages all media wishing to feature a story on Illinois National Guard MoH recipients from their areas to contact the office for more information. Please view the list below for Illinois National Guard MoH recipients from your area

• About 111 Soldiers with the Illinois Army National Guard who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor from the Civil War to World War II.

• Cpl. Abner P. Allen of Woodford County, Ill, entered service at Bloomington, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 39th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Petersburg, Va., issued May 12, 1865

• Pvt. John G.K. Ayers of Washlinaw, Mich., entered service at Pekin, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 8th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 31, 1895

• Cpl. Matthew Bickford of Peoria County, Ill., entered service at Trivolia, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 8th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 31, 1894

• Lt. Col. John C. Black of Lexington, Miss., entered service at Danville, Ill., enlisted in 37th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Prairie Grove, Ark., issued October 31, 1893

• Cpt. William P. Black of Woodford, Ky., entered service at Danville, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 37th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Pea Ridge, Ark., issued October 2, 1893

• 1st Lt. Wells H. Blodgett of Downers Grove, Ill., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 37th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Newtonia, Mo., issued February 15, 1894

• Pvt. John G. Bourke of Philadelphia, Pa., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 15th PA CAV, awarded MOH for actions at Stone River, Tenn., issued November 16, 1887

• Pvt. Emmer Bowen of Erie County, N.Y., entered service at Hampshire, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 127th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 21, 1894

• Pvt. William W. Burritt of Campbell, N.Y., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 113th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 8, 1896

• Pvt. John H. Callahan of Shelby County, Ky., entered service at Macoupin County, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 122nd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued June 8, 1865

• 1st Lt. Horace Capron Jr. of Peoria, Ill., entered service at Peoria, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 8th IL CAV, awarded the MOH for actions at Chickahominy and Ashland, Va., issued September 27, 1865

• Cpl. Samuel J. Churchill of Rutland County, Vt., entered service at DeKalb County, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 2nd Light Artillery, awarded for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued January 20, 1897

• Sgt. Carlos W. Colby of Merrimack, N.H., entered service at Madison County, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 97th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 31, 1896

• Sgt. John H. Cook of England, entered service at Quincy, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 119th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Pleasant Hill, La., issued September 19, 1890

• Cpl. Robert M. Cox of Guernsey County, Ohio, entered service at Prairie City, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 55th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued December 31, 1892

• Pvt. John Creed of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 23rd IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Fishers Hill, Va., issued October 6, 1864

• Pvt. James S. Cunningham of Washington County, Pa., entered service at Bloomington, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 8th MO INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 30, 1894

• Sgt. John S. Darrough of Kentucky, entered service at Concord, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 113th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Eastport, Miss., issued February 5, 1895

• Cpl. James Dunne of Detroit, Mich., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 15, 1895

• Sgt. Maj. John M. Farquhar of Scotland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in 89th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Stone River, Tenn., issued August 6, 1902

• 1st Lt. John H. Fisher of Monmouth, Pa., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 55th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Sgt. Henry Fox of Germany, entered service at Lincoln, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 106th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions near Jackson, Tenn., issued May 16, 1899

• Pvt. William W. Fraser of Scotland, entered service at Alton, Ill., enlisted in Co. I, 97th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued October 24, 1895

• Pvt. Richard J. Gage of Grafton County, NH, entered service at Ottawa, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued October 30, 1897

• Cpt. Nicholas Geschwind of France, entered service at Pleasant Hill, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 116th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 24, 1894

• Pvt. Andrew E. Goldsbery of St. Charles, Ill., entered service at St. Charles, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 127th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 9, 1894

• Pvt. Newton T. Gould of Elk Grove, Ill., entered service at Elk Grove, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 113th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 6, 1894

• Chap. Milton L. Haney of Ohio, entered service at Bushnell, Ill., enlisted in 55th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Atlanta, Ga., issued November 3, 1896

• Lt. Col. Douglas Hapeman of Ephratah, N.Y., entered service at Ottawa, Ill., enlisted in 104th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Peach Tree Creek, Ga., issued April 5, 1898

• Pvt. Henry M. Hardenbergh of Noble County, Ind., entered service at Bremen, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 39th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Deep Run, Va., issued April 6, 1865

• Sgt. James Henry of Sunfish, Ohio, entered service at Kankakee, IL, enlisted in Co. B, 113th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• Sgt. Thomas J. Higgins of Canada, entered service at Barry, Ill, enlisted in Co. D, 99th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued April 1, 1898

• Cpl. Patrick Highland of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 23rd IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Petersburg, Va., issued May 12, 1865

• Cpl. Lemuel F. Holland of Burlington, Ohio, entered service at La Salle County, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued October 30, 1897

• Pvt. George L. Houghton of Canada, entered service at Brookfield, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued March 27, 1900

• Mus. Orion P. Howe of Portage County, Ohio, entered service at Woken, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 55th IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued April 23, 1896

• John Hughey of Louisville, Ky., entered service at Anna, Ill., enlisted in Co. L, 2nd OH CAV, awarded MOH for actions at Sailors Creek, Va., issued May 3, 1865

• 1st Sgt. Theodore Hyatt of Penn., entered service at Gardner, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 127th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• Samuel Hymer of Harrison County, Ind., entered service at Rushville, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 115th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Buzzard's Roost Gap, Ga., issued March 28, 1896

• Cpl. Elisha Johns of Clinton, Ohio, entered service at Martintonk, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 113th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 9, 1894

• Pvt. Andrew Johnson of Delaware County, Ohio, entered service at Assumption, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 116th Ill. INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 9, 1894

• Pvt. David Johnston of Indiana County, Penn., entered service at Warsaw County, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 8th MO INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 16, 1884

• 1st Lt. Simeon T. Josselyn of Buffalo, N.Y., entered service at Amboy, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 13th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Missionary Ridge, Tenn., issued April 4, 1898

• Sgt. Leverett M. Kelley of Schenectady, N.Y., entered service at Rutland, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 36th IL INF, received MOH for actions at Missionary Ridge, Tenn., issued April 4, 1900

• Pvt. Charles H. Kloth of Europe, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 15, 1895

• Pvt. George Kretsinger of Herkimer County, N.Y., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 20, 1897

• Pvt. Joseph S. Labill of France, entered service at Vandalia, Ill., enlisted in 6th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 14, 1894

• Cpl. James W. Larrabee of Rensselaer County, N.Y., entered service at Mendota, Ill., enlisted in Co. I, 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Pvt. Robert A. Lower of Illinois, entered service at Elmwood, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Pvt. George W. Lucas of Adams County, Ill., entered service at Mt. Sterling, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 3rd MO CAV, awarded MOH for actions at Benton, AR, issued December 1864

• Sgt. George Marsh of Brookfield, Ill., entered service at Brookfield, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued September 17, 1897

• Capt. Samuel McConnell of Belmont County, Ohio, entered service at Bushnell, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, AL, issued June 8, 1865

• Pvt. Andrew McCornack of Kane, Ill., entered service at Rutland, Ill., enlisted in Co. I, 127th Ill., awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 10, 1895

• Pvt. John W. McDonald of Lancaster, Ohio, entered service at Wayneville, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 20th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., issued August 27, 1900

• Sgt. Thomas McGraw of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 23rd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Petersburg, Va., issued May 12, 1865

• Pvt. Patrick McGuire of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 15, 1895

• 1st. Lt. Nineveh S. McKeen of Marshall, Ill., entered service at Marshall, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 21st IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Stone River, Tenn., issued June 23, 1890

• Cpl. James K. Merrifield of Penn., entered service at Manlius, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 88th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Franklin, Tenn., issued March 28, 1896

• Cpt. Henry A. Miller of Germany, entered service at Decatur, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 8th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued June 8, 1865

• Pvt. Jacob C. Miller of Bellevue, Ohio, entered service at Geneva, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 113th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 20, 1894

• Pvt. Wilbur F. Moore of Lebanon, Ill., entered Lebanon, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 117th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued February 22, 1865

• Pvt. Jerome Morford of Mercer County, Pa., entered service at Bridgers Corner, Ill., enlisted in Co. K, 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Mus. Robinson B. Murphy of Oswego, Ill., entered service at Oswego, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 127th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Atlanta, Ga., issued July 22, 1890

• Cpl. Thomas C. Murphy of Ireland, entered service at Pekin, Ill., enlisted in Co. I, 31st IL INF, awarded the MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 14, 1893

• Pvt. Marcellus J. Newman of Richview, Ill., entered service at Richview, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 111th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Resaca, Ga., issued May 13, 1899

• Pvt. John O'Dea of Ireland, entered service at Clinton, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 8th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 12, 1894

• 1st. Lt. Menomen O'Donnell of Ireland, entered service in Illinois, enlisted in Co. A, 11th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 11, 1897

• Mus. George H. Palmer of New York, entered service in Illinois, enlisted in 1st IL CAV, awarded MOH for actions at Lexington, Mo., issued March 10, 1896

• Cpl. James W. Parks of Lawrence County, Ohio, entered service at Xenia, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 11th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued February 24, 1865

• 1st. Lt. Thomas H.L. Payne of Boston, Mass., entered service at Mendota, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 37th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued April 1, 1898

• Cpt. Patrick H. Pentzer of Marion County, Mo., entered service at Gillespie, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 97th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued October 9, 1879

• 1st Sgt. Edward M. Pike of Casce, Maine, entered service at Bloomington, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 33rd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Cache River, Ark., issued March 29, 1899

• Col. Philip Sidney Post of Florida, NY, entered service at Galesburg, Ill., enlisted in 59th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued March 18, 1893

• Cpl. Wesley J. Powers of Canada, entered service at Virgil, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 147th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Oostanaula, Ga., issued October 24, 1895

• Cpl. Winthrop D. Putnam of Southbridge, Mass., entered service at Peoria, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 77th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued April 4, 1898

• Sgt. George F. Rebmann of Schuyler County, Ill., entered service at Browning, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 119th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued June 8, 1865

• Pvt. William Reed of Union County, Pa., entered service at Pekin, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 8th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued December 12, 1895

• Pvt. Charles W. Rundle of Cincinnati, Ohio, entered service at Oakley, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 26, 1894

• Pvt. Jacob Sanford of Fulton County, Ill., entered service at Prairie City, Ill., enlisted in 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Pvt. Benjamin W. Schenck of Butler County, Ohio, entered service at Maroa, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 14, 1894

• Maj. John M. Schofield of Gerry, NY, entered service at St. Louis, Mo., enlisted in 1st MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Wilsons Creek, Mo., issued July 2, 1892

• Pvt. John Shapland of England, entered service at Ottawa, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued October 30, 1897

• Lt. William T. Simmons of Green County, Ill., entered service at Green County, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 11th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued February 24, 1865

• Pvt. Oscar Slagle of Fulton County, Ohio, entered service at Manlius, Ill., enlisted in Co. D, 104th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Elk River, Tenn., issued October 30, 1897

• Pvt. Reuben Smalley of Redding, NY, entered service at Brookfield, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 83rd IN INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• Sgt. Edward B. Spalding of Ogle County, Ill., entered service at Rockford, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 52nd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., issued January 15, 1894

• Cpl. Benona Sprague of Onondaga County, NY, entered service at Chencys Grove, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 10, 1894

• Pvt. William G. Stephens of New York, NY, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued December 21, 1894

• 1st Lt. George H. Stockman of Germany, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 6th MO INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• Pvt. George Stokes of England, entered service at Jerseyville, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 122nd IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Nashville, Tenn., issued February 24, 1865

• Sgt. Henry H. Taylor of Jo Daviess County, Ill., entered service at Galena, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 45th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 1, 1893

• Sgt. William Toomer of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. G, 127th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 9, 1894

• 2nd Lt. James D. Vernay of Lacon, Ill., entered service at Lacon, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 11th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued April 1, 1898

• Pvt. Thomas J. Ward of Romney, W. Va., entered service at Macon County, Ill., enlisted in Co. C, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued July 27, 1894

• Cpl. John Warden of Cook County, Ill., entered service at Lemont, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 55th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued September 2, 1893

• Lt. Col. Loyd Wheaton of Calhoun County, Mich., entered service at Illinois, enlisted in 8th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued January 16, 1894

• Cpt. Patrick H. White of Ireland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued January 15, 1833

• Pvt. John Whitmore of Brown County, Ill., entered service at Camden, Ill., enlisted in Co. F, 119th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Fort Blakeley, Ala., issued June 8, 1865

• Pvt. Andrew J. Widick of Macon County, Ill., entered service at Decatur, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 116th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued August 11, 1894

• Pvt. Elwood N. Williams of Philadelphia, Pa., entered service at Havana, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 28th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Shiloh, Tenn., issued September 28, 1897

• Cpt. Richard H. Wood of Cumberland, NJ, entered service at Woodburn, Ill., enlisted in Co. A, 97th IL INF, awarded MOH for actions at Vicksburg, Miss., issued December 12, 1895

The following are Medals of Honor accredited to Illinois during WWI:

• Cpl. Jake Allex of Prizren, Serbia, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 131st IL INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions at Chipilly Ridge, France, issued under G.O. No. 44, 1919

• 1st Sgt. Johannes S. Anderson of Finland, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. B, 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions at Consenvoye, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• 1st Sgt. Sydney G. Gumpertz of San Raphael, Calif., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. E, 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions in Bois-de-Forges, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• Cpl. Ralyn M. Hill of Lindenwood, Ill., entered service at Oregon, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 129th INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Donnevoux, France, issued under G.O. No. 34, 1919

• Pvt. Berger Loman of Bergen, Norway, entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. H, 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Consenvoye, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• Cpt. George H. Mallon of Ogden, Kans., entered service at Minneapolis, Minn., enlisted in 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions in the Bois-de-Forges, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• Cpl. Thomas A. Pope of Chicago, Ill., entered service at Chicago, Ill., enlisted in Co. E., 131st INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions at Hamel, France, issued under G.O. No. 44, 1919

• Sgt. Willie Sandlin of Jackson, Ky., entered service at Hyden, Ky., enlisted in Co. A, 132nd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions at Bois-de-Forges, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

• Pvt. Clayton K. Slack of Plover, Wis., entered service at Madison, Wis., enlisted in Co. D, 124th Machine Gun Battalion, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Consenvoye, France, issued under G.O. No. 16, 1919

The following are Medals of Honor accredited to Illinois during WWII:

• Pfc. Dexter J. Kerstetter of Centralia, Wash., entered service at Centralia, Wash., enlisted in Co. C, 130th INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Caliano, Luzon, Philippine Islands, issued under G.O. No. 97, 1945

• Sgt. John R. McKinney of Woodcliff, Ga., entered service at Barberton, Ohio, enlisted in Co. A, 123rd INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Tabio, Luzon, Philippine Islands, issued under G.O. No. 14, 1946

• Staff Sgt. Howard E. Woodford of Barberton, Ohio, entered service at Barberton, Ohio, enlisted in Co. I, 130th INF, 33rd DIV, awarded MOH for actions near Tabio, Luzon, Philippine Islands, issued under G.O. No. 14, 1946

Don't let our troops be forgotten! Every day when we read the news it's the same headlines over and over. The media is obsessed with election coverage, football teams trading players, and which football team Peyton Manning is going to. There is no coverage about our important mission in Afghanistan.

While our troops are out fighting the terrorists, America is at the mall, worrying about our own problems when there are brave troops overseas who NEED OUR ATTENTION AND SUPPORT! We can't let our brave military men and women be forgotten, especially not with Easter just around the corner!

SEND AN EASTER CARE PACKAGE.
REMIND OUR TROOPS THAT WE HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN THEM!

Reminding us of the importance of our mission, a statement was released today by Senators McCain, Graham and Lieberman, as a plea to the American people not to forget the importance of our mission in Afghanistan and the troops who are winning the war on terror.

"The painful lesson we learned on Sept. 11, 2001, remains true today: What happens in Afghanistan directly affects our safety here at home. We abandoned Afghanistan in the 1990s, and the result was a fanatical regime that allowed its territory to become a base for global terror attacks, while inflicting medieval tyranny on the Afghan people, especially women. If we quit Afghanistan again, and abandon the millions of Afghans who have risked everything to be our allies in the hopes of succeeding together, the consequences will be disastrous for both our peoples".

- Joint Letter, March 21, 2012
Sen. John McCain
Sen. Joseph Lieberman
Sen. Lindsey Graham

Our troops need us now! Show your support by sending a box full of goodies and necessities ! Your personal message will be sent in a care package packed by our volunteers and sent along with a box full of goodies including special Easter treats! The Easter Holiday is coming up quickly, so get your orders in now!

Don't Forget! We're On the Lookout for Troops!

Soldier Registration is easy! If you have the address of someone on active military duty, such as a spouse, child or sibling, you can click here for our Soldier Sign Up to register each one with the program, or copy this link:

http://www.moveamericaforward.org/apply-servicing.php

e-mail it to them so they can register themselves. Once registered, they will be eligible to receive a package and messages of support from caring fellow Americans.

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE , IL (03/21/2012)(readMedia)-- There may not be one perfect Guardsman in the United States, but there is one Illinois Guardsman who was recognized as the best noncommissioned officer (NCO) in the country by the National Guard Bureau.

Illinois Air National Guardsman Tech. Sgt. Jacob Curtis of Fairview Heights, with the 126th Security Forces Squadron at Scott Air Force Base was recently named the 2011 NCO of the Year for the entire National Guard.

Curtis discovered he won this award March 16 with a direct phone call from Maj . Gen. Willaim L. Enyart of Belleville, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, who congratulated him on his nationally recognized award.

"It was so surreal at first," said Curtis. "It felt like my head was floating."

He won the highest national achievement the National Guard has to offer and now is in the running to be one of 12 Air Force-wide Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

Curtis won the NCO of the Quarter, third quarter 2011, Squadron NCO of the Year in 2008 and 2011, Mission Support Group NCO of the Year 2011, 126th Wing NCO of the Year 2011, and finally NCO of the year for the Air National Guard 2011.

"Technical Sgt. Jacob Curtis is a gifted and giving professional and is most deserving of this crowning achievement," said Col. Peter Nezamis of Belleville, commander of the 126th Air Refueling Wing at Scott Air Force Base. "Technical Sgt. Curtis and his family have endured long and painful separations countless times in support of overseas operations. I couldn't be more pleased with the honor of having Tech. Sgt. Curtis and his family represent the 126th Air Refueling Wing as an Air National Guard Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year."

Curtis is the noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of the plans section for the Illinois Air National Guard's 126th Security Forces Squadron. He is also the information security officer and client support administrator, all while performing his primary job as a security forces officer.

"He is a go-getter," said Tech. Sgt. Salvador Silva of Belleville, the 126th Security Forces' acting first sergeant. "He wants to be a part of everything and always wants more responsibility; this shows in his job here, and with his level of education."

Curtis grew up a military child. His father James retired as a lieutenant colonel at Scott AFB and has called southern Illinois home since he was 15. He attended high school in O'Fallon.

Staff Sgt. Steven J. Ask of Shiloh, NCOIC of combat arms for the 126th has known Curtis since high school, and now serves in the same unit with him.

"I've really gotten to know him since joining the unit," said Ask. "He is one of the first people I call if I need something here, and one of the few people I feel I can talk to about anything. His work ethic is above and beyond most other peoples. He completely looks after others, his troops, his friends, even if he didn't know the person he would look out for them."

Perhaps this quality might best be justified from an event that took place on Curtis' recent deployment to Afghanistan.

While serving as the battle NCO at the Joint Defense Operations Center at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, a nearby building was hit by indirect enemy rocket fire. The blast killed two local nationals and wounded three. In addition, two Airmen were also injured.

Noticing the closest Airmen to the blast had to retain security along the base's wall to guard against a follow up attack, Curtis sprang into action. He was among the first to reach the building and found one of the wounded Airman. The Airman had a broken leg that had lacerated his femoral artery.

Curtis administered aid by tying a tourniquet around the downed Airman's leg to help stop the bleeding, and waited to help carry him out until emergency medical technicians arrived. He was awarded a certificate of appreciation for his actions that day.

Curtis insists his entire unit should receive this award and that he just embodies his unit's commitment to excellence. And, although it may be true there are many great Airmen like Curtis, he has more than proven himself for this award to his peers, his friends and his superiors.

"We are all extremely proud of him," said Ask. "Having him here serves as an example of what a person in the Guard can achieve and he inspires us to strive for that level of achievement."

Curtis said he looks forward to his career and new challenges.

"I hope to continue on my career path and try to stay at this level of achievement. I'm at the top right now so it'll be a challenge, but a challenge I'm definitely looking forward to taking on," he said.

PEORIA (03/17/2012)(readMedia)-- Approximately 75 Soldiers with 709th Area Support Medical Company (ASMC) in Peoria were recognized March 17 at Illinois Army National Guard armory in Peoria at their Freedom Salute ceremony honoring their sacrifice and service.

The 709th was mobilized in January in support of Operation New Dawn and came home in November. The 709th provided medical care to more than 14,000 U.S. and coalition servicemembers in Iraq.

As a National Guard unit tasked with a unique mission, the 709th received recognition from active duty counterparts and exceeding other units in overall performance and operations said Maj. Dennis McWherter of Chicago, the 709th's company commander.

Operating out of the Sgt. Ivory Phipps Troops Medical Clinic the 709th was the last primary care medical unit on Joint Base Balad, successfully ending medical operations on the base and transitioning operations to the Iraqi government. As the clinic closed its doors, the 709th brought back the memorial plaque that hung in the clinic honoring Staff Sgt. Ivory Phipps of Chicago, an Illinois Army National Guard Soldier who died in Iraq in 2004. He was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant.

Phipps was assigned to the Paris-based 1544th Transportation Company when he was killed in Iraq on March 17, 2004, said Brig. Gen. Robert Pratt, the director of the Joint Staff from the Illinois National Guard. In 2006 the 710th ASMC from North Riverside opened the Cobra Clinic in Balad, the Illinois unit would later begin the process to rename the clinic after Phipps. In 2008 the 206th ASMC of the Missouri National Guard officially renamed the clinic.

The original plaque was given to Phipps' son, Elijah Phipps, 8, accompanied by his mother received the plaque honoring his father.

"I felt proud," said Elijah, "because he did a great job serving the country. He made a great sacrifice."

The unit felt it was only right to give the original plaque to Phipps' son, said McWherter.

"Too often a fallen Soldiers' story is not recorded for their children," he said. "Elijah doesn't have his father to tell his stories. We wanted to give Elijah something to remember his father, something that shows our respect for him and his sacrifice."

Two replicas were made, one given to the 710th ASMC having opened and named the clinic and the other given to the 709th ASMC closing the clinic five years later.

"As Soldiers we will honor our fallen and remember them as they were in life, friends, Soldiers, leaders and truly, truly heroes," said Pratt.

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CHICAGO (03/14/2012)(readMedia)-- The Illinois Army National Guard's Small Arms Team competed in the 2012 U.S. All Army Small Arms Championship at Fort Benning, Ga., Mar. 1 to 10.

The five member team placed 8th out of 335 competitors - 55 teams total - and was the 4th ranked Army National Guard Team in the competition. The team took 1st place overall in the Rifle Team championship, and earned a total of 14 top three placements.

"As a team, this year's competition was not as dramatic as last year, but we did very well in the individual competitions," said team member Sgt. First Class David Perdew of Astoria.

Among the multiple awards the Illinois team won, two awards standout in distinction. Staff Sgt. Tracy Mix of Marseilles earned the Distinguished Rifle Shot Badge, while Sgt. First Class Perdew earned the Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge. Perdew also earned the Silver Excellence in Rifle Competition Badge.

"The Distinguished Rifleman Badge was established in 1887, and the Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge in 1903," said Perdew. "Only about 1600 servicemembers have either of them - it is a very distinguished and sought after award."

The awards are presented to individuals who have earned 30 credit points while firing a service rifle or a service pistol in qualifying Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) matches. Having precedence above the standard qualification badges, these awards are the most coveted marksmanship badges that can be earned and worn on a military uniform.

The competition is open to Soldiers of any rank and formation across the Army, including West Point and ROTC cadets, Army Reservists and National Guardsmen.

During the week-long event, servicemen and women fire military issued M-16/M-4 rifles at distances between 25 and 500 yards, and the M-9 pistol between seven and 35 yards on a variety of courses. They also compete in a combined-arms match - employing the rifle, pistol and shotgun in a number of different stages of fire.

The Illinois Team is comprised of Sgt Terry Pody of Machesney Park (Team Coach), Chief Warrant Officer (2) Ryan Landon of Creal Springs, Staff Sgt. Tracy Mix of Marseilles, Sgt. First Class David Perdew of Astoria, and Sgt. Jeffrey Bugger of Athens.

Complete team results - Sgt. First Class David Perdew, HHD 44th Chem. Bn, Macomb: 1st Place U.S. Army Overall Small Arms Individual Champion, Open Class; 1st Place U.S. Army Service Pistol Champion, Open Class; 3rd Place U.S. Army Service Rifle Champion, Open Class; 2nd Place Match 1 (Pistol), Open Class; 1st Place, Match 3 (Pistol), Open Class; 2nd Place, Match 8 (Rifle), Open Class; 8 Pistol EIC Points, earning the Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge; 8 Rifle EIC Points, earning the Silver EIC Badge.

Staff Sgt. Tracy Mix, Co. A 33rd BSTB, Marseilles: 3rd Place U.S. Army Overall Small Arms Individual Champion, Open Class; 3rd Place U.S. Army Service Pistol Champion, Open Class; 1st Place U.S. Army Service Rifle Champion, Open Class; 1st Place, Match 5 (Pistol) Open Class; 1st Place, Match 7, (Rifle) Open Class; 8 Rifle EIC Points, earning the Distinguished Rifle Shot Badge;6 Pistol EIC Points.

Chief Warrant Officer (2) Ryan Landon, 3637th FSMC, Springfield: 1st Place Match 7 (Rifle), Novice Class; 6th Place U.S. Army Service Rifle Championship, Novice Class; 8 Rifle EIC Points.

Sgt. Jeffrey Bugger, 1844th Trans. Co., Quincy: 2nd Place, Match 1 (Pistol) Novice Class; 3rd Place, Match 5 (Pistol) Novice Class; 4th Place U.S. Army Service Pistol Championship, Novice Class; 8 Pistol EIC Points.

Sgt Terry Pody (Team Coach), 135th Chem. Co., Machesney Park: 6 Rifle EIC Points.

Moline, Illinois - Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) today presented constituent Mark Graves of Aledo with the Combat Action Badge for his service with the United States Army Military Police in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"It is truly an honor to be presenting the Combat Action Badge to one of our area's distinguished war heroes," Schilling said.  "My deepest gratitude goes out to Mark for his service in safeguarding our nation and protecting our freedoms."

Graves entered Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at the United States Army Military Police School in July 1999.  After finishing training with the United States Army Military Police, he deployed to Iraq and served with the 64th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade from March 2003-2004.

During his time in Iraq serving as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Graves' Military Police unit was engaged in some of the most hazardous duty in Iraq, including convoy escorts, manning check-points frequently attacked by insurgents, town, and village patrols, road security to prevent improvised explosive devices from being planted, and the processing of prisoners of War.  His unit was frequently assigned to support various infantry units on operations throughout Iraq, from Baghdad to Tikrit, and was involved in at least seven combat engagements with anti-coalition forces.  During one engagement, Graves' High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, or Humvee) took a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade.

During Graves' service he was awarded the Joint Services Achievement Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; and the Overseas Service Ribbon.  The one award that eluded him was the Combat Action Badge, which is awarded to soldiers who personally engage or are engaged by the enemy.

Schilling's staff started on this case in early August, 2011 when Graves reached out upon receiving a mailer on services Schilling's staff provides.  After tracking down the necessary documentation, staff was able to meet the Army's Combat Action Badge requirements by early January, 2012.

"Constituent casework is the most important part of my job and we will continue to work tirelessly towards successful outcomes," Schilling said.  "I encourage anyone having issues navigating federal agencies to contact my offices - we're happy to help."

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Washington, DC - Congressmen Bobby Schilling (IL-17), Geoff Davis (KY-04) and Jason Altmire (PA-04) today introduced the Citizen Soldier Equality Act, bipartisan legislation to correct compensation discrepancies for Reservists hurt in the line of duty and awarded the Purple Heart.  Under current formulas, these Reservists face an inequity in their disability when they are wounded in action.    

The Citizen Soldier Equality Act will fix this oversight, correcting the formula so "Years of Service" would equal their full years of service when the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) considers their disability pay.  This change in language simply eliminates the inequality between active and reserve personnel for disability retirement pay for those who are wounded while protecting our country.

"You can tell a lot about a country in how it takes care of its war heroes," Congressman Schilling said. "When warfighters are hurt in the line of duty, they should be compensated regardless of enlistment status.  At a time when we are going to be reducing troop numbers and relying more on our Reserve, we must provide the correct compensation for those citizen soldiers who are wounded in the line of duty.  I'm proud to introduce this bipartisan effort with Congressmen Davis and Altmire and thank them for their hard work over the years in support of our war heroes."

"I have worked for several years to resolve this inequity, and I am grateful to Congressman Schilling for his willingness to continue the cause," said Congressman Davis. "A bullet does not discriminate between an active and a reserve service member, and neither should we.  We owe it to our wounded reservists that their disability retirement pay is calculated the same way it is for active members of the military."

"When I look at the faces of the brave men and women who were wounded defending their country, the first question that I ask myself is how can we ever begin to repay them, not whether they have active or reserve status," Congressman Altmire said. "This legislation removes an inequality among our military members and provides the support they will need to succeed after bravely serving their country.  With thousands of servicemen and women returning home, we should give this bipartisan legislation immediate consideration on the House floor."

Disability retirement pay is calculated by one of two formulas, one of which contains "Years of Service." "Years of Service" roughly equals total Duty Days divided by 365.   As an example of the inequality, a Staff Sergeant with 13 calendar years of reserve service but only 4 years of active service based on "Total Duty Days" gets about 8 percent less disability retirement pay than an active duty soldier.  A lifetime delta of 8 percent can significantly impact the Reservists' standard of living.  To further illustrate, two personnel - one an active duty solder, one a Reservist - with identical disabilities incurred in the same conflict receive a different disability retirement benefit, with the Reservist coming up short.

The Citizen Soldier Inequality Act would eliminate the inequality between active and reserve personnel outlined above with regard to the calculation of disability retirement pay for service members wounded in action.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley made the comment below about information released today by the U.S. Air Force regarding its fiscal year 2013 Total Force Manpower Force Structure, which includes authorized manpower numbers for Iowa, including the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines and the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City.

The Air Force document indicates a net reduction of 492 Air Guard positions in Des Moines due to recent recommendations to retire 21 F-16s in Des Moines.  The Air Force document also indicates a net increase of three Air Guard positions in Sioux City.

Senator Grassley's comment:

"Reversing this decision will take a concerted effort by National Guard advocates in Congress.  So far, the effort has been significant, and there will be an opportunity to determine a different outcome when annual legislation to authorize defense spending is considered later this year

"I'm a member of the National Guard Caucus in the Senate and plan to continue pressing for answers and a thorough review of what's best for taxpayers and national defense.  During a Budget Committee hearing last week, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and I both asked Defense Secretary Panetta to review these recommendations.  In addition, 49 governors, including Governor Branstad, have expressed opposition to the Guard cuts.

"Fiscal responsibility and stewardship dictate that the Air Force should use a cost-benefit analysis that looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the active and reserve forces.  It's not clear that such a process has been used, and the Air Force needs to account for its approach."

Rep. Bruce Braley's office sent the following:

Braley: Stopping Air Force Cuts to Des Moines Air National Guard is "Just Common Sense"

Washington, DC - March 6, 2012 - Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement today after the US Air Force said it was recommending eliminating 492 positions at the Des Moines-based 132nd Iowa Air National Guard Fighter Wing:

"Stopping the Air Force's misguided cuts to the Des Moines Air National Guard wing isn't a partisan issue, it's just common sense.  If the Air Force's goal is to reduce costs, downsizing the Iowa Air National Guard while more expensive units and less experienced pilots are preserved elsewhere just doesn't add up.

 

"The Pentagon's priorities are wrong, and I'll continue working alongside Iowa's elected leaders to stop this damaging plan in its tracks."

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WEDRYZN, POLAND (03/02/2012)(readMedia)-- By 1st Lt. Matthew Morris and 1st Lt. Nico Smith, Illinois Army National Guard BEST A9

The weather was frigid but not unfamiliar to the Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Bilateral Embedded Support Team (BEST) A9 who arrived in Poland Feb. 3. The BEST A9 arrived in Wedryzn, Poland where they are assisting the Polish 6th Airborne Brigade certify its two battalion task forces prior to their deployment to Afghanistan this month.

"I'm very impressed with the trust placed in their lower enlisted to do the right thing and the mentality they have while they conduct training," said Sgt. 1st Class William Ingles of Steeleville, with BEST A9. "Their attitude is not 'why are we training' but 'when.' The design is very practical and a lot of fun to watch."

The primary focus of the Illinois National Guard Soldiers' training the past few weeks was to learn the customs and leadership style of their Polish counterparts.

This deployment is part of the State Partnership Program (SPP), which was created in 1993 to assist the Polish government and military transition into NATO after the fall of the Soviet Union. Co-deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan with Polish Forces began in 2003 where the partnership evolved from an advisory role to an enabler of warfighting capacities.

The work schedule also allows time for the team to experience Polish culture and history. Illinois Soldiers have travelled to Ostwald, an area once occupied by Germany, to visit one part of an enormous structure of bunkers that spans from the Baltic Sea heading south underground for 400 kilometers. They also travelled to Sulecin, a small town a couple kilometers away from the training base.

With few English speaking natives, the team relies heavily on Sgt. Arthur Boruch of Orland Park, the only fluent Polish speaker on the team.

"It's been an interesting and challenging experience communicating the needs of 17 people," he said. "It can get exhausting but overall it's been great showing the guys the Polish culture I've known from growing up in a Polish speaking household."

The recent training between Illinois and Polish Soldiers was marked by a gesture of unity Feb. 17 when Brig. Gen. Bogdan Tworkowski, Commander of the Polish 6th Airborne Brigade, placed the unit's shoulder patch on each member of the BEST team while Col. Troy Phillips of Philo, BEST A9 commander, presented the Illinois colors to fly alongside the Polish National Flag.

"We are one team, one unit, and we are very glad to have the BEST team on board. I am sure that our efforts together will result in success," Tworkowski said.

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