Military thanks Illinois reserve soldiers

August 2, 2008 8:52:08 PM PDT
The military recognized Illinois Army Reserve soldiers Saturday for their service in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They haven't all served overseas, but each soldier --and their families --have made sacrifices. They are Army reservists with a variety of specialties. They train and prepare the units going overseas. For the most part, they stay in the states, but that still means sacrifice.

David Sierakowski was away from his wife and three sons for the better part of two years.

"That's a common theme you'll hear - well you weren't over there. We were still seven days a week, 24 hours a day and we were lucky to get home every once in a while, but it was tough on the families," said Lt. Col. David Sierakowski, 1st BCTG Army Reserves.

Today these citizen-warriors and their families were given a formal thank you for their service-- a meaningful recognition for people like Theresa Jones, dialysis nurse in civilian life who twice since the start of the war in Iraq has been mobilized stateside to train other soldiers. And that's separated her from her ten year old daughter for many months.

"Most of the time I was able to talk to her and give guidance but family still stepped in and gave her encouragement that I'll be home," said Major Theresa Jones, 1st BCTG Army Reserves.

There are some among these reservists who've been in the theater of combat.

"I had facial wounds and a concussion. My gunner died ten days after the attack," said Lt. Col. Joseph Faucett, 1st BCTG Army Reserves.

Joe Faucett is with his family today, but exactly three years ago today- while on a police training patrol in Iraq, his vehicle was hit by an IED.

"It really changed our lives profoundly to realize how short life can be or how precious it can be, absolutely," said Lt. Col Joseph Faucett.

Today these reservists - and their families - got some recognition for their service and sacrifice - a flag, a pin, and a thank-you.


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