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May 2009

05/23/2009

MEMORIAL DAY EVENTS

HERE'S A LIST OF SOME MEMORIAL DAY EVENTS THIS WEEKEND.  IF YOU KNOW ABOUT ANY OTHER EVENTS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO SEND A COMMENT AND POST IT ON THIS BLOG.  THIS IS A PLACE WHERE WE CAN ALL SHARE INFORMATION.

I PLAN TO ATTEND THE DOWNTOWN MEMORIAL DAY PARADE ON SATURDAY.  I LOOK FORWARD TO THIS PARADE EVERY YEAR. 

DOWNTOWN MEMORIAL PARADE - NOON ON SATURDAY

MEMORIAL DAY VIDEO MONTAGE  - A U.S. Army lieutenant colonel sent this video to me.  Feel free to take a look.  It's a great reminder of what Memorial Day truly means.


1) St. Charles 2009 Memorial Day Observance and Activities: In order to honor the men and women who gave their lives to secure the nation's freedoms and liberties, the City of St. Charles has planned various activities to observe Memorial Day. On Monday, May 25th St. Charles will honor their Veterans with a morning flag raising ceremony at 5:30 a.m, followed by cemetery events at 6:20 a.m. At 10 a.m. there will be a Memorial Day parade at 5th Street and Main Street followed by a Memorial Day Ceremony at Freedom Trail. For more information, contact Mark Powell at 630-587-6444 or visit http://www.st-charles.il.us/stc_calendar/date_details.asp?date=5/25/2009&TypeID=&CategoryID= to view the complete schedule of events.


2) Memorial Day Remembered Program at Dupage County's Kline Creek Farm: The Forest Preserve of Dupage County is honoring fallen Soldiers during the 'Memorial Day Remembered' program on Monday, May 25th at 1:30 p.m. During the event, costumed performers will lead a remembrance reminiscent of the era and sing the song "In Dixie's Sunny Land" which will highlight the experiences of Illinois Civil War veteran E. W. McIntosh. Kline Creek Farm is open Thursdays through Mondays from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. The program is located at 1N600 County Farm Road, one-half mile south of North Avenue. For information on the "Memorial Day Remembered" program, call Kline Creek Farm at 630-876-5900 or the Center for History at 630-682-9472 or visit http://www.dupageforest.com.


3) Skokie Memorial Day Observance: A Memorial Day observance ceremony will be held at Veterans Memorial at Krier Plaza on Monday, May 25 at 11 a.m. The ceremony will include presentations by the Jewish War Veterans Post #328, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3854 and the Skokie American Legion Post #320. Taps will also be performed. The plaza is located at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue/Niles Center Road and Oakton Street. For more information please contact the Village Manager's Office at 847/933-8257 or visit www.skokie.org.


4) Memorial Day Weekend at Navy Pier: Navy Pier will be holding nightly firework displays set to modern and classic songs on Saturday, May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th this Memorial Day weekend. Fireworks start at 10:15 p.m on Saturday and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. Additionally, bands will play on Friday (5 p.m. and 8 p.m) and Saturday (2 p.m, 5 p.m, and 8 p.m.) in the beer garden. For more information visit http://chicago.metromix.com/events/community_event/memorial-day-weekend-at-streeterville/223553/content or call 312-595-7437.


5) Lake County Illinois Memorial Day Parades: Lake Villa, Lindenhurst, Libertyville, Mundelein, Wauconda, and Waukegan will each be holding Memorial Day Parades on Monday, May 25th between 10 a.m and 1 p.m. To find out more information about the location and times of each of the parades, visit http://www.examiner.com/x-1406-Lake-County-Examiner~y2009m5d17-Memorial-Day-ceremonies-and-parades-in-Lake-County-Illinois.


6) The Village of Orland Park Memorial Day Ceremony:  The Village of Orland Park Veterans Commission will host its annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 25 at 1:00 p.m. During the ceremony, Father Leo Lyons, a retired United States Air Force Colonel, will offer the blessing and Orland Park Mayor, Dan McLaughlin, will read the 26 names added to the memorial since Veterans Day. Also, the Carnivele Sisters will sing the National Anthem and Orland Park Police Officer, Tim Hasty, will play the bagpipes. The ceremony is located at the village's Veterans' Memorial, Ara Pace - Place of Peace, adjacent to the Frederick T. Owens Village Hall at 14700 South Ravinia Avenue. For more information call 708-403-6203 or visit Orland Park Memorial Day Ceremony  

AGAIN, PLEASE POST ANY OTHER EVENTS HAPPENING IN OUR AREA.  YOU CAN DO THAT BY WRITING A COMMENT TO THIS BLOG.  THANK YOU!


 

05/17/2009

WHEN SOLDIERS REACH OUT FOR HELP......

     WHEN SOLDIERS WRITE AND CALL FOR HELP FROM AFGHANISTAN, I LISTEN.  AND LISTEN CLOSELY.  LATELY, I'VE BEEN LISTENING QUITE A BIT.

     THE SOLDIERS ARE STILL ON THE GROUND AS I WRITE, SO I HAVE AGREED TO NOT REVEAL THEIR IDENTITIES OR JEOPARDIZE THEIR POSITIONS IN ANY WAY.

     THEY HAVE BEEN FRUSTRATED, FED-UP, AND FELT THEY HAD NOWHERE ELSE TO TURN.  SO I LISTENED ON THE PHONE. I READ THEIR EMAILS.  AND, ULTIMATELY, I WROTE A LETTER TO THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD AND U.S. ARMY, OUTLINING THE SOLDIERS' CONCERNS AND PROBLEMS.

          THE SOLDIERS TOLD ME COUNTLESS STORIES, BUT THEIR PROBLEMS REALLY BOIL DOWN TO A FEW ISSUES:  SAFETY CONCERNS, AND WHETHER SAFETY PROCEDURES ARE BEING FOLLOWED CORRECTLY, DEFICIENT EQUIPMENT, MORALE ISSUES, AND A BROKEN CHAIN-OF-COMMAND.

   SADLY, ONE SOLDIER WROTE: "I HAVE BEEN IN THE MILITARY FOR OVER TEN YEARS.  I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TAKEN CARE OF BY MY SERGEANTS AND OFFICERS.   IT HAS NOT BEEN UNTIL THIS DEPLOYMENT THAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED SUCH NEGATIVE TREATMENT FROM THOSE THAT OUTRANK ME.  AS A LEADER, YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO TAKE CARE OF SOLDIERS THAT YOU OUTRANK, TRAIN THEM, AND MENTOR THEM.  INSTEAD, WE ARE BEING HARASSED, MISTREATED, AND LABELED AS "ATE UP" BECAUSE WE ARE NATIONAL GUARDSMEN."

    WELL, NEEDLESS TO SAY, MY LETTER SENT OFF A STORM OF ACTIVITY WITHIN 24 HOURS. 

    (I WARNED THE SOLDIERS THAT I HAD NO CONTROL OF THE FALLOUT - ONCE I WROTE THE LETTER, ANYTHING WAS POSSIBLE.   THEY UNDERSTOOD, AND THEY WERE WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE.)

     ACTION UNFOLDED QUICKLY.

    A HIGH-RANKING TEAM VISITED THE SOLDIERS TO HEAR THEIR CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS.  ESSENTIALLY, IT TRIGGERED A FULL-BLOWN INVESTIGATION DURING THE LAST FEW WEEKS.

    THE ARMY COLONEL IN AFGHANISTAN WHO IS NOW HANDLING THAT INVESTIGATION ASSURES ME THAT ALL THE SOLDIERS' CONCERNS ABOUT SAFETY AND EQUIPMENT ARE BEING ADDRESSED - SOME WERE SOLID, VALID ISSUES, OTHERS WERE MISUNDERSTANDINGS.  THE COLONEL ANSWERED ALL MY QUESTIONS WITHOUT HESITATION.

    AND I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH THE ARMY MAJOR WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SOLDIERS' CHAIN-OF-COMMAND.  SHE TELLS ME THAT AT LEAST THREE KEY LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN THE CHAIN-OF-COMMAND HAVE BEEN CHANGED. 

    SHE ALSO SAID SHE DID NOT CARE HOW THESE CONCERNS CAME TO LIGHT - EVEN IF THE SOLDIERS PICKED UP THE PHONE AND CALLED CHICAGO.  HER GOAL IS TO TAKE CARE OF THESE SOLDIERS AND ALL THEIR NEEDS - AND NOW, THAT IS HAPPENING.

    MY PHONE ISN'T RINGING NOW.  I TAKE THAT AS A GOOD SIGN.  I ALSO HEAR THAT THE SOLDIERS' LIVES HAVE IMPROVED SINCE A FEW WEEKS AGO.

    I HOPE MY PHONE DOESN'T RING AGAIN.

    BUT IF IT DOES, I'LL LISTEN AND DO WHAT I CAN.       

   

    


   

05/10/2009

ARMED FORCES DAY IS MAY 16TH - TUNE IN TO ABC 7 NEWS AT 6 A.M.

ARMED FORCES DAY IS SET ASIDE TO RECOGNIZE THOSE WHO SERVE IN THE NAVY, ARMY, MARINES, AIR FORCE AND COAST GUARD.   SATURDAY, MAY 16TH IS THE OFFICIAL DATE.

TUNE IN SATURDAY AT 6 A.M.  - WE WILL FEATURE A LOCAL SEGMENT ABOUT THIS DAY AND WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CHICAGO.

IN THE MEANTIME, HERE'S A LIST OF ARMED FORCES DAY EVENTS YOU CAN CHECK OUT:

USO ILLINOIS PRESENTS ARMED FORCES DAY AT NAVY PIER

ARMED FORCES DAY AT FIRST DIVISION MUSEUM AT CANTIGNY IN WHEATON

PAUSE FOR PATRIOTISM IN KANKAKEE 

MILWAUKEE ARMED FORCES WEEK

05/03/2009

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE - A TIME TO REMEMBER

MEMORIAL DAY IS A TIME TO COMMEMORATE AND REMEMBER ALL THOSE WHO HAVE DIED WHILE SERVING OUR COUNTRY. IT ALSO GIVES US A CHANCE TO RECOGNIZE OUR VETERANS AND ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY MEMBERS.

ONE WAY TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT IS BY ATTENDING THE MEMORIAL DAY PARADE IN CHICAGO ON SATURDAY, MAY 23RD. PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK TO GET ALL THE INFORMATION.

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE

THIS IS AN EMOTIONAL PARADE FOR ME.  OUR STATION HAS A FLOAT IN THIS PARADE, AND EVERY YEAR, I SIGN UP TO BE ON THAT FLOAT. 

I HAVE NOT LOST A FAMILY MEMBER IN COMBAT - LIKE IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN.  BUT I HAVE INTERVIEWED PLENTY OF FAMILIES WHO HAVE FACED THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE.  THEIR PAIN AND SACRIFICE ARE PALPABLE.

I WILL BE AT THE MEMORIAL DAY PARADE, REMEMBERING ALL OF THEM.  I HOPE YOU JOIN ME.

AND, AS THE WIFE OF AN ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY MEMBER, I CERTAINLY WILL HUG AND THANK MY HUSBAND THAT DAY.  I ALWAYS DO.  BUT MEMORIAL DAY IS A GOOD REMINDER OF THE SACRIFICE THEY ALL MAKE - AND HOW SOME HAVE DIED WHILE DOING IT.

IL NATIONAL GUARD HOLDS WORKSHOP FOR MILITARY FAMILIES

IF YOU HAVE A GUARDSMAN DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN, YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT AN UPCOMING WORKSHOP IN JOLIET THIS MONTH.

THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD HAS ABOUT 3,000 SOLDIERS CURRENTLY DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN.   MOST OF THEM ARE SCHEDULED TO RETURN HOME IN THE SUMMER AND FALL.

SO TO PREPARE FAMILIES, THE IL NATIONAL GUARD HAS SCHEDULED A WORKSHOP, OR AS THEY CALL IT - A FAMILY ACADEMY - ON SATURDAY, MAY 23RD.  IT WILL BE HELD FROM 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M., AT JOLIET JUNIOR COLLEGE.

THE GUARD SAYS IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO TALK TO EXPERTS, GATHER INFORMATION, AND PREPARE FOR THEIR MILITARY MEMBERS TO RETURN HOME.


05/02/2009

FRANKFORT MARINE IS SCHEDULED TO RETURN HOME THIS WEEK

FRANKFORT MAYOR JIM HOLLAND IS EXPECTED TO HOP ON HIS HARLEY MOTORCYCLE AND LEAD THE WAY WHEN MARINE SGT. JAMES TALLEY RETURNS HOME THIS WEEK.

THAT'S ACCORDING TO CYNTHIA BARR OF THE SOLDIER'S GUARDIAN ANGELS, A MOTORCYCLE GROUP THAT PROVIDES ESCORTS FOR MILITARY MEMBERS.

ON TUESDAY, MAY 5TH, SOLDIER'S GUARDIAN ANGELS WILL WELCOME HOME SGT. TALLEY - A MARINE WHO HAS COMPLETED THREE TOURS OF DUTY, SERVING IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.

ANYONE WHO IS INTERESTED CAN JOIN THE GROUP AT 7:30 P.M.  THEY WILL BE STAGING AT THE OLD BARN RESTAURANT, WHICH IS LOCATED AT CENTRAL AVENUE AND STATE ROAD IN BURBANK.

ALSO, ON SATURDAY, MAY 9TH, A VILLAGE APPRECIATION CEREMONY IS SCHEDULED AT THE FRANKFORT VFW, LOCATED JUST SOUTH OF SAUK TRAIL ON PFEIFFER ROAD IN FRANKFORT.  THIS EVENT IS SCHEDULE TO START AT 12:30 P.M.

SO YOU WANT TO HELP? HERE'S ONE WAY IN MAY

I OFTEN HEAR FROM PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HELP AND SUPPORT OUR TROOPS.

THIS MONTH, THE FOX VALLEY TROOP SUPPORT GROUP IS LOOKING FOR DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS.  THEY PLAN TO PUT TOGETHER CARE PACKAGES THAT WILL BE SENT TO DEPLOYED MILITARY MEMBERS.

IF YOU KNOW A DEPLOYED MILITARY MEMBER WHO WOULD LIKE A CARE PACKAGE, THEY WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE OR VOLUNTEER, THEY WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU TOO!

HERE'S THE GROUP'S SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, MAY 15TH:  5-8 P.M.:

   DROP OFF DONATED ITEMS AT THE BATAVIA VFW, 645 SOUTH RIVER STREET IN BATAVIA. 

    VOLUNTEERS ARE ALSO NEEDED TO SORT ITEMS.

SATURDAY, MAY 16TH: 10-3 P.M.:

    VOLUNTEERS WILL PACK AND SEAL PACKAGES. 


FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF ITEMS THAT YOU CAN DONATE, CHECK OUT THE GROUP'S WEBSITE. 

FOX VALLEY TROOP SUPPORT

YOU CAN ALSO CALL ONE OF THE CO-CHAIRS, SARAH GIACHINO - 630-587-3789. 

FINALLY, OUR NEWS PARTNER - THE DAILY HERALD - RECENTLY WROTE A STORY ABOUT THIS GROUP!

THE DAILY HERALD

MARINE WEEK IN CHICAGO - MAY 11-17th

CHICAGO IS FRONT AND CENTER FOR MARINE WEEK - AND YOU CAN BE PART OF THE ACTION.

FROM MAY 11TH-17TH, MARINES ARE SCHEDULED TO PARTICIPATE IN VARIOUS EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE AREA.  THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO ATTEND. 

HERE ARE A FEW HIGHLIGHTS - AND, IF YOU'RE INTERESTED, CHECK OUT THE LINK AS WELL!

 

MONDAY, MAY 11TH:

    8 A.M. -   MARINES VOLUNTEER TO RESTORE LEVIN PARK

    10 A.M. - MARINE WEEK DEDICATION CEREMONY AT DALEY PLAZA

 

TUESDAY, MAY 12TH:

    8 A.M. - MARINES VOLUNTEER TO RESTORE RIIS PARK

    6 P.M. - MARINE DRILL PLATOON, ALONG WITH MARINE DRUM AND BUGLE CORPS, PERFORM AT OAK PARK AND RIVER FOREST HIGH SCHOOL STADIUM

 

WEDNESDAY,MAY 13TH:

    8 A.M. - MARINES VOLUNTEER AT CORNERSTONE COMMUNITY OUTREACH CENTER

    3 P.M. & 7 P.M. - MARINE DRILL PLATOON, AND MARINE DRUM AND BUGLE CORPS PERFORM AT SOLDIER FIELD.

 

MAY 15TH, 16TH & 17TH:

    MARINES WILL BE AT NAVY PIER AND ARLINGTON PARK ALL DAY.

 

FOR ALL THE DETAILS, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE:

MARINE WEEK CHICAGO