Veterans Day

Air National Guard band to honor veterans at two special ceremonies in Bloomington

Nov. 6, 2014

The Air National Guard Band of the Midwest will perform in two special ceremonies to honor veterans on Tues., Nov. 11 at the Illinois Farm Bureau and COUNTRY Financial buildings in Bloomington. The annual Veterans Day ceremonies for the Illinois Agricultural Association (IAA) Family of Companies will also include remarks by keynote speaker, Cliff Dolbeare, a U.S. Army veteran and corporate strategic development manager at GROWMARK.

The ceremonies will be held at:

  • 9:00 a.m. in front of the main entrance of the Illinois Farm Bureau, 1701 N. Towanda Ave.
  • 10:00 a.m. in front of the main entrance of COUNTRY Financial, 1711 GE Rd.

Dolbeare will speak about his deployment to Iraq where he served as an assistant intelligence officer for the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment and worked alongside Iraqi security forces to help coordinate the intelligence collection efforts. He will also talk about the importance of saying “thank you” when meeting a veteran.

The Air National Guard Band of the Midwest, formerly known as the 566th Air Force Band, will perform before and during the ceremonies. The band, which has performed for millions of soldiers and citizens throughout the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean, was activated in Oct. 1941 in Boise, Idaho, and was later stationed at Chicago’s Municipal Airport, now known as Midway Airport, and then at Orchard Field, now known as O’Hare Airport. Today, the band is stationed at the Peoria Air National Guard.

IAA Family of Companies Military Support  

The IAA Family of Companies has a long history of supporting military members and their families. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve has recognized the IAA Family of Companies with the Seven Seals award as well as being the first employer in Illinois to earn the five-star support status, the highest level of support recognized.

The IAA Family of Companies has previously sponsored:

  • The Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall on Veterans Day 2013, a traveling memorial wall with the names and photos of nearly 300 Illinois men and women killed during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Operation Salute Our Soldiers on Veterans Day 2011, a large-scale online thank you message and video for co-workers, family and friends who are serving in the military.
  • Operation We Care, a supply drive in 2009 for citizens of war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Military Birthday Boxes, a program where employees collected more than 2,000 pounds of items to send to U.S. troops overseas in 2007.