Holiday spirit was in the air as family and friends watched Illinois Army National Guard artillerymen receive promotions and awards during the unit's holiday dinner at the Sycamore armory Dec. 8.
The annual dinner is a chance for Soldiers and their families to celebrate the holiday season and socialize with other families in the unit, and an opportunity for Santa Claus to visit with the children and troops.
The battery commander, Capt. Dustin Cammack of Chicago, thanked the families for supporting the Illinois National Guard in 2012.
“We asked quite a bit from our soldiers and their families, so I want to say thank you to all of the families for supporting what your soldier does,” said Cammack. “We are a great unit, but we would not be as great as we are without your support.”
Battery 1st Sgt. David Binning of Pecatonica, also thanked the families for their support.
“I would like to thank the families for coming out today because if it wasn't for you, we wouldn't be able to do the jobs we are trained to do,” said Binning. “Knowing that we have your support is what keeps us going.”
During the awards ceremony, Sgt. Christopher Ebuna of Hoffman Estates, was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant, and Pfc. Blake Hanson of DeKalb, was promoted to specialist.
Five artillerymen received the Army Achievement Medal for outstanding performance during annual training at Camp Ripley, Minn., in July 2012. Awardees include Staff Sgt. Michael Schneider of Huntly, Sgt. Tracy Wright of St. Charles, Spc. Joshua Amy of Hinckley, Spc. Saboat Crisosto of Elgin, and Spc. Joseph Sikorski of Lombard.
"We have accomplished a lot this past year," said Cammack. "We have promoted more than 30 of our own, awarded more than 100 awards, and achieved several battery and battalion firsts at annual training. I'm looking forward to building upon those accomplishments this coming year."