Hometown Military News: Sept. 9, 2016

Master Sgt. Michael Putnam
Master Sgt. Michael Putnam receives a proclamation from Gov. Bruce Rauner naming him the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs’ (IDVA) employee of the year as the IDVA Director Erica Jeffries looks on, Aug 14, at the Illinois State Fair. (Photo courtesy Illinois National Guard)

Hometown Military News for Sept. 9, 2016:

Illinois unit mobilizes for Afghanistan deployment

NORTH RIVERSIDE – A deployment ceremony is scheduled for approximately 20 soldiers who will deploy to Afghanistan this fall.

The ceremony for the 710th Area Support Medical Company based in North Riverside will be Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. at the North Riverside Armory, 8660 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside.

The soldiers will train for a brief time at Fort Hood, Texas, before deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

The 710th Area Support Medical Company will provide command and control over area hospitals and clinics in the Bagram, Afghanistan area. They will provide medical support to U.S. and coalition forces and provide ground evacuation operations for troops serving in the region.

The unit is expected to be in Afghanistan for approximately nine months, returning to Illinois in summer of 2017.

Airman named Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs employee of the year

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Air National Guard Master Sgt. Michael Putnam, of Bryant was named the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs employee of the year for 2016.

Putnam is a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the Illinois Air National Guard’s 183rd Fighter Wing based in Springfield, and an information technology specialist for the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The Employer Support of Guard and Reserve program has always maintained that members of the Guard and Reserves make exceptional employees because they understand duty and responsibility” said Ron Bacci, Illinois Committee Chair of the ESGR. “They bring a ‘can do’ attitude to the workplace, appreciate diversity, work well under pressure, have a high degree of integrity and self-respect, and are dedicated, highly motivated leaders. They are in top physical condition, possess critical skills, are drug-free, resilient and know how to handle stress, both on and off the job. Master Sgt. Putnam of the 183rd Fighter Wing certainly exemplifies those traits.”

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