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October 24, 2011

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to honor southern Illinois resident as its ‘Veteran of the Month’

SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) on Tuesday (October 25th) will honor Ural Copple, a Walnut Hill resident and U.S. Army veteran, as its October 2011 “Veteran of the Month” during a ceremony at 9 a.m. (CDT) at VFW Post 2055, 1826 South Pine Street, in Centralia, Ill.

“A trained carpenter, Ural Copple entered military service in time to head to Japan to help jumpstart the rebuilding process in that war-torn country,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “Since his return stateside, he has served the veterans community and the local Marion County community. His commitment and dedication are an inspiration to all who have worn the uniform.”

The Illinois Veteran of the Month award is a distinction bestowed upon military veterans who give back to their communities. Copple, 95, who served from 1945-1946 in the Pacific Theater, is being honored for his tireless commitment to community and country.

Copple’s professional and community achievements include:
• 34 years as member of VFW Post 2055’s Military Rites Funeral Detail
• 30 years as member of the Raccoon  District Water Board
• 12 years as board president of the Raccoon Elementary Board of Education
• Long-time business agent for Carpenter’s Union Local #367
• Volunteer member of Centralia Area Historical Society, where he has set up a display commemorating area World War II veterans while also participating in community-requested flag raising and flag presentation ceremonies

After his military service, Copple was awarded the following medals: Asiatic Pacific Theatre Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Unit Award and the World War II Victory Medal.

The “Veteran of the Month” award highlights the work of community organizers who are also military veterans. Each month 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 veterans.illinois.gov to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.


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