SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) hosted a Desert Storm Remembrance ceremony at the Illinois State Capitol Rotunda in Springfield today. The ceremony honored all Desert Storm veterans and paid tribute to the Illinois Heroes who lost their lives.
“Today we come together to honor the brave men and women who fought for their country during the Gulf War,” said IDVA Director Erica Jeffries. “Every service member who fought relentlessly during this war are true heroes.”
Governor Bruce Rauner also proclaimed February 28, 2017, as Desert Storm Remembrance Day in Illinois in memory of all the heroes who died in the attack on Desert Storm, and in tribute to all the men and women whose sacrifices made the world safer for liberty and freedom.
COL Lance Koenig has been the Chief of Staff for Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois since July of 2015. COL Koenig has over 29 years of active commissioned service, mainly as a logistics officer, in support of Airborne, Armor, and Special Operations forces. During Desert Storm he was a Maintenance Platoon Leader for the 511th Military Intelligence Battalion which was part of 7th Corps. His unit entered Saudi Arabia at the port of Dharan, convoyed 24 hours to a tactical assembly area in the desert where they established camp until several months later the ground assault kicked off and they maneuvered with 7th Corps into Iraq until the cease fire was called. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his role in this operation.
The Ceremony included a memorial service for the Illinois Fallen Heroes with assistance from the Illinois Living History Detachment. Taps was played by Ben Story from Bugles Across America.