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Gov. Blagojevich announces State of Illinois' May "Veteran of the Month"

Press Release - Friday, May 23, 2008

SCHAUMBURG - To kick-off Memorial Day weekend, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich this evening named Palatine resident Jeremiah Crise as the State of Illinois' May "Veteran of the Month" for his service to our country in the military and for his remarkable commitment to the community. 
"This weekend we honor all those who fought for this country and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  Our veterans deserve to be respected and honored for their military service, and those who continue this kind of commitment in their community should be especially recognized. Jeremiah Crise is a man who honorably defended this country during a time of war and now continues to go above and beyond to serve his community," said Gov. Blagojevich.
The Governor's "Veteran of the Month" award is a distinction that is given monthly to military Veterans who give back to their community and other Veterans.  On behalf of the Governor, Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) Director L. Tammy Duckworth presented Crise with the award this evening at the Order Sons of Italy in America's Memorial Dinner Dance in Schaumburg. 
"As we join together to recognize and pay tribute to all our nation's war heroes, this evening we recognize one veteran from Illinois in particular - Mr. Jeremiah Crise.  Mr. Crise is not only an Illinois veteran, but he is an outstanding individual who continues to dedicate his time serving his state and community," IDVA Director Tammy Duckworth said.  "I am proud to present Mr. Crise with the May ‘Veteran of the Month' award on behalf of Governor Blagojevich, and the Department of Veterans' Affairs, as a way to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation for all he has done and continues to do for his fellow comrades, service members and their families,"
Jeremiah Crise comes from a military family dating back to 1776.  In 1947, Crise enlisted in the 38th Infantry Division of the Indiana National Guard, was honorably discharged and later enlisted in the newly named United States Air Force.  Promoted to Staff Sergeant, Crise volunteered to attend jet fighter aircraft and engine school.  Crise served as a crew chief in the Korean War and was attached to 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, among others.  For his dedicated service Crise received numerous decorations, medals and badges including the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Service Medal with two battle stars.
After his military service was complete, Crise decided to continue to serve his country in a different capacity and stay involved with the military community.  Crise is a dedicated volunteer with the Soldiers' Angels, an organization that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and their families at home.  Crise volunteers countless hours with the organization and contributes to sending letters, care packages, and comfort items to the deployed.  He also helps to provide assistance to our wounded warriors and comfort the families of the fallen. 
Crise has volunteered thousands of hours to his country and community.  He has served on the North Chicago VA Medical Center Stakeholder's Advisory Council.  He serves as an advocate for veterans with an interest in ensuring that all veterans receive the quality medical care that they have rightfully earned.  He is also a dedicated member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
In addition to volunteering for veterans and service members, Crise has been committed to the local area youth.  For nearly a decade, Crise served as a board member for School District 21 in Wheeling.  Crise was also a member of Congressman Mark Kirk's Military Academy Selection Steering Committee, which selects young men and women to serve as 10th Congressional District candidates for our nation's military service academies.
A financial manager by profession, Crise helps steer large-scale construction projects.  This led him to volunteer as chairman of a local building committee for developmentally disabled children, a project he unselfishly gave many hours of his time to.
Last year Crise was part of the Illinois Veterans' History Project, an initiative promoted by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White that collects and preserves the wartime memories of our nation's veterans and those civilians who supported the war efforts.
The "Veteran of the Month" award highlights the work of community activists who are also military veterans.  Each month, on behalf of Governor Blagojevich, the Department recognizes a different person or group that contributes to the betterment of communities across the state of Illinois.  To nominate a "Veteran of the Month," please visit IDVA's website at or call IDVA at (217) 785-4114 to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.