Local Veterans Honored for Service to Country (August 12, 2011)

More than a dozen veterans from the western suburbs and Chicago were honored today during a ceremony at the McCook Athletic Exposition Center.

Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski, D-16th District, of McCook presented Silver Star Service Banners to veterans representing the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea and Vietnam. Other elected officials present included U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-3rd District, of Western Springs; state Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, D-24th District, of Cicero; state Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-21st District, of Chicago; state Sen. Steven Landek, D-11th District, of Bridgeview; and Riverside Mayor Michael Gorman.

The banners are provided by the Silver Star Families of America. The group’s mission is to support active military personnel and veterans who are sick, injured or dying, as well as their families.

Local veterans who received recognized for their service were Louis Anderson of La Grange, who was injured while serving in Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Army; Anthony J. and Thomas A. Bezouska, both of Berwyn, who sustained wounds in Korea as members of the Army’s 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment; William J. “Jack” Cochran of Riverside, a first lieutenant in the Army’s 101st Airborne who was injured in Vietnam; Thomas J. Higgins of Westchester, who was wounded while serving in the Army in Vietnam; James M. Piotrowski of Burr Ridge, who was injured as a member of the Army in Vietnam; Ralph Simpson of Berwyn, who was wounded in Vietnam while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps; Sergio Lopez of Hillside, who sustained injuries while serving in Iraq as a member of the Army; and Harold A. Martin Jr. of Hillside, a three-time Purple Heart recipient who was wounded in Vietnam while serving in the Marine Corps.

Arthur Rawers of Berwyn was also honored during the ceremony for his military service. His daughter, Gail Lovero, is a contract employee for Tobolski who oversees government outreach and veterans affairs. Rawers was given a resolution adopted by the Cook County Board.

Other Silver Star Service Banner recipients included Donald J. Beach of Franklin Park, John Charles Judge of Chicago, Kenneth Marinellie, Russell Meredith of Forest Park, Joe Romano of Frankfort, Robert Tinson Sr. from Chicago, James Tobolski of Summit, John Kritzer, Gordon Marsh and Thomas McCormick.

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