Illinois marks 15 years since 9-11 attacks; sends 19 soldiers to Afghanistan

Illinois National Guard
Gov. Bruce Rauner attended a deployment ceremony for the 710th Area Support Medical Company at North Riverside Armory on Sunday. (Photo courtesy Bruce Rauner)

By Eric Stock

NORTH RIVERSIDE – Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Illinois National Guard marked the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on Sunday as more soldiers are headed to Afghanistan.

“We are reminded of just how much our men and women in uniform sacrifice to protect our freedom and way of life,” Rauner said. “Thank you for your service to the great state of Illinois and to the United States of America. Your patriotism and dedication are an inspiration to us all. The people of Illinois will keep you in our thoughts and prayers, and we wish you a safe deployment. God bless you.”

The National Guard held a deployment ceremony for 19 soldiers who are preparing for a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.

“Freedom is never free,” Rauner said. “Freedom requires vigilance, sacrifice and unfortunately – too often – loss.”

The 710th Area Support Medical Company will provide medical support to U.S and coalition forces as well as assist hospitals and clinics in the Bagram, Afghanistan area. They troops are first headed to Fort Hood, Texas for preparations.

The medical company is commanded by Major Alhaja Swebatu Giwi-Falana.

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.

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