Over one hundred Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers were honored at a ceremony in Galesburg.
According to the Illinois National Guard, 115 soldiers in the 444th Chemical Company were recognized by the National Guard Bureau Freedom Salute Campaign on Sunday April, 7. They were recognized for their service and sacrifice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The soldiers were trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and deployed to Kuwait. They were there for about ten months.
The 444th saved more than $500,000 in government contracts and increased the billeting capability of Camp Virginia by more than 4,000 soldiers. The company served in transitioning Camp Virginia from a short-term stop for Soldiers heading to Kuwait or Afghanistan into a long-term billeting area.
In addition, the company conducted more than 3,000 patrols, securing 71 unexploded ordnances without loss of life or equipment.
Each Illinois Army National Guard Soldier was presented with an encased American Flag, a commemorative coin, a certificate of appreciation, and a lapel pin. Families also received items for their support.
The Freedom Salute Campaign is one of the largest Army National Guard recognition endeavors in history, designed to acknowledge Soldiers and their supporters when they were deployed.