Hometown Military News for Nov. 11, 2016:
New unit brings storied history back to Quincy
QUINCY – When the 126th Quartermaster Company uncased its colors Nov. 6 at the Illinois Army National Guard readiness center in Quincy, it also uncased the history of the 126th Service and Supply Company, the only Illinois Army National Guard unit to deploy to Vietnam.
The 126th’s story began in 1924, when the Medical Detachment, 130th Infantry Regiment was federally recognized in Quincy. That unit served in the Pacific theater during WWII and was reorganized and redesignated six times before becoming the 126th Service and Supply Company Feb. 1, 1968 and deploying to Vietnam May 13, 1968. Eventually, the 126th would become the 1844th Transportation Company before becoming the 126th Quartermaster Company.
Cpt. Alison Jacobs of Rochester, commander of the newly formed 126th Quartermaster Company, said it was important for the young Soldiers to recognize and embrace the history.
“It’s a big deal for the unit,” said Jacobs. “The 126th is the only company activated for Viet Nam; it’s important to carry on that lineage, not only for the soldiers, but for the state of Illinois to be able to build on that history.”
Jacobs said there was some resistance to the change at first, but once they brought former members of the 126th to tell their stories to the soldiers, they were ready to make the transition. Jacobs also said it was important to involve the veterans in the reflagging of the unit.
Maj. Shawn Nokes of Springfield, Illinois, executive officer for the 232nd Combat Service Support Battalion based in Springfield, Illinois, officiated the ceremony. Nokes told members of the new unit to be proud of their lineage and thanked the veterans of the 126th for sharing that history.
“You young Soldiers inherit a great history from these men sitting here today,” said Nokes. “Be proud of that history, take it with you, by doing so, you build a tradition and honor those that came before you.”
Jerry Roush of Quincy, was one of the men who deployed to Viet Nam with the 126th and one of about 30 former members that joined the unit to celebrate the return of the 126th to Quincy. Roush brought the unit’s original guide-on with him and stood in formation with the new Soldiers during the ceremony.
Roush said the men of the 126th were overjoyed when they heard the Guard was bringing their unit’s history back to the state.
“It’s just awesome,” said Roush. “The 126th has such a grand history and Quincy is its home.”
Roush said standing in formation brought back many memories.
“Seeing all these young Soldiers standing here makes me proud,” said Roush. “I know that they’ll carry on the traditions of the 126th and add to the history.”
Spc. Andrew Balzer of Camp Point said he was unaware of the unit’s history before talking to some of the veterans who joined them for the ceremony, but found it inspiring.
“After talking to some of the former members of the 126th I learned a lot of interesting history,” said Balzer. “It didn’t seem like a big deal before today, but after talking to the veterans, it’s really cool to be taking on that history and lineage.”
Jacobs said the newly formed 126th Quartermaster Company will be a shower, laundry and clothing repair unit, the only unit of its kind in the Illinois National Guard. The unit recently received its new equipment and Jacobs said the Soldiers were excited to get out there and do their new jobs.
“I’m really excited to be here, I love this unit and the people in it,” said Jacobs. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to exercise our equipment. We just got it last month and I know the Soldiers are excited to get hands-on time with it too.”
Mahomet native Tim Newman promoted to lieutenant colonel
MAHOMET – Timothy Newman, of Mahomet, was promoted to lieutenant colonel Nov. 4 in Urbana, at the Urbana National Guard Armory.
Newman has 17 years of honorable service, and is the commander of the 766th Brigade Engineer Battalion based in Decatur.