Below are remarks delivered by St. Charles Mayor Raymond Rogina at the 2018 St. Charles Veterans Day Ceremony
On this Veterans Day, I send greetings from my soon to be 95 year old dad, a World War II veteran. Many of our more recent conversations seem to deal with specific incidents associated with his tour of duty in Europe. Although I am more amused by some of his antics in basic training.
I want to reaffirm today what I believe most of you already know: our city firmly believes in supporting military service members—both past and present.
30 of our employees, or about 10% of our work force, are either vets or active duty service members. We are very proud of that. They work in several departments throughout our organization: IT, Public Works, Building Code and Enforcement, Police and Fire.
This year, the City of St. Charles was selected for the 2018 HIRE Vets Medallion Program Award from the Department of Labor in recognition of our efforts in recruiting and employing veterans.
And in 2017, both the St. Charles Fire and Police departments were recognized for their support of military employees. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a program of the Department of Defense, presented the departments with Awards at City Council meetings. Both departments were nominated for the awards by two active duty National Guardsmen.
Firefighter Drew Perry accepted the Above and Beyond Award on Behalf of the Fire Department. Perry was assigned to the Second Batalion of the 20th Special Forces Group—Alpha Company; from July of 2017 to January of 2018 he was deployed to Lebanon; in January of this year he attended leadership training at Fort Bragg; In July and August of this year, he was deployed to Paraguay. In January of 2019, he will be assigned to additional training.
Chief Jim Keegan accepted the Patriot Award on behalf of the Police Department along with Officer Michael Karnath. Officer Karnath served in Iraq and has served in the Wisconsin National Guard since 2010. Karnath nominated Keegan for accommodating his continued service in the National Guard. The Patriot Award recognized efforts made to support services members, including supporting flexible schedules and time off prior to and after deployment.
I use these examples to paint a picture of a city that revers its men and women who provide service to country; is committed to the principle that we never, ever forget; collectively prays for a safe journey for all of our present soldiers; prays for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and provides warmth and comfort for those who have returned.
This is Veterans Day in St. Charles, our City, and on this day, we say thank you for all that has been done to make this the greatest country in the world and we recognize the residents of St. Charles as proud brothers or sisters to all of our distinguished soldiers and veterans. God bless all of you and God bless the City of St. Charles.