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 Member Patrick Dunham retired after 33 years of Naval Service!

ENCM (SW) Patrick J. Dunham

Master Chief Petty Officer Dunham was born in Chicago, IL.  In 1984, he graduated from Notre Dame High School in Niles, IL and attended Marquette University during which time he enlisted in the United States Navy Reserves.  In 1987 he took time off from college to attend Basic Training after which, he attended EN "A" School, both at Great Lakes.  After a brief return to college, Master Chief switched from the Reserves to Active Duty in September of 1989.

Upon completion of NAVET training he reported to the USS LASALLE (AGF 3) in the Persian Gulf. During this time he was advanced to Third Class Petty Officer and Second Class Petty Officer.  After serving in Desert Shield and Storm he transferred to USS HALYBURTON (FFG-40) in November 1991 where he served as the Leading Petty Officer of the Auxiliary Division.  Ashore, Master Chief Dunham was stationed with the Navy Absentee Collection Unit at Great Lakes from January 1993 to November 1995 where he served as a military escort and investigator.  Upon completion of this tour, he re-affiliated with the Navy Reserve, reporting to ASSAULT CRAFT UNIT ONE at Great Lakes.  In 2000 he was advanced to First Class Petty Officer and in 2002 he was selected for Chief Petty Officer.   In September of 2002, he was assigned as the Chief Engineer of ASSAULT CRAFT UNIT ONE.

In February 2004, he was assigned to INSHORE BOAT UNIT 24, serving as the Chief Engineer.  In July 2004, he and his unit were deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, providing force protection for all naval assets at Kuwaiti Naval Base and Ash Shuaybah.  In February 2006 he was assigned to NAVSEA SURGEMAIN CHICAGO as the Senior Enlisted Leader as well as the Alpha Drill Weekend Senior Enlisted Leader for Navy Operations Support Center Chicago.  Also in 2006 he was advanced to Senior Chief Petty Officer, attending the Senior Enlisted Academy in June and July 2007.

From April 2008 until March 2009 he served as the Deputy Senior Enlisted Leader of the Reserve NAVSEA component after which he assumed the duties as Senior Enlisted Leader of the National SURGEMAIN Program, responsible for 58 units and over 1200 Sailors nation-wide, supporting the four naval shipyards.  In 2011 he was selected for advancement to Master Chief Petty Officer.

In February 2012, Master Chief Dunham was recalled to active duty in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and assigned to UNITED STATES FLEET FORCES COMMAND in Norfolk, VA.  He served as the manpower manager for approximately 9000 active duty individual augmentation and reserve mobilization billets in Afghanistan, Cuba, Djibouti and the Persian Gulf.  In July 2013, he returned home and was assigned as the Senior Enlisted Leader for the US Fleet Forces Maritime Operations Center Chicago.  In 2015 was selected as the Senior Enlisted Leader for US Fleet Forces Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping Federation consisting of six units nationwide.  In 2017 transferred to VTU-1314G where he served as its CPOIC until his retirement.

Master Chief Dunham has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Illinois with a minor in Accounting and Political Science.  His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Award and various units and campaign awards.  He currently resides in Lindenhurst with his wife and children where he serves on the Village Board and serves as the Chairman of the Village Finance Committee.

103rd State Convention Memorial Service book

103rd State Convention Memorial Service book


Illinois Guardsman, VFW Member Helps Fellow Veterans “Bury These Burdens” Through Music

As a kid, David Allen Stone of Robinson, Illinois, a member of Crawford County VFW Post 4549 in Robinson, always wanted to be in the military and serve his country. Enlisting in a post-9/11 era, Stone knew he would be deployed overseas. However, he never envisioned the internal struggles he would endure during his military service.


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During the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) virtual Parade of Winners April 7, the organization proudly presented more than $211,000 in scholarships and awards as it named the national winners of its 2022 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions in a Facebook live event sponsored by Twisted X.


Post 1337 presents First Responder award to Gurnee Police Officer

At the March 21, 2022 Gurnee Village Board Meeting Commander Les Durov of the Mount Prospect Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1337, presented a First Responder Americanism Certificate of Appreciation to Gurnee Police Sgt. Jason Kalinowski.


Oswego Soldier Retires After Nearly 36 Years of Military Service

Maj. Ivan Ortiz of Oswego, Illinois, a member of Montgomery Memorial Post 7452, retired from the Illinois Army National Guard after nearly 36 years of military service during a ceremony held Saturday, March 5, at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield.


High School Teacher Selected to be Illinois Guard’s Chief of Joint Staff

A high school teacher at Lake Park High School in Roselle, and member of Carol Stream Post 10396, has been selected as the Illinois National Guard’s next Chief of the Joint Staff.


Sherman Aviator Taxis into Retirement after 42 Year Career

The year is 1980. The U.S. boycotts the 1980 Summer Olympics, President Jimmy Carter signs Proclamation 4771, requiring 18- to 25-year-old men to register for a peacetime military draft and Ronald Reagan is elected 40th President of the United States.


Normal-based 404th MEB receive combat patch during deployment

Members of the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, headquartered in Normal, Illinois, celebrated a milestone in their military careers as they received their combat patch, for military members serving in hostile conditions, March 17, 2022.


Kincaid man retires from Army after 32 years of military service

Growing up in the small town of Kincaid, Illinois, Anthony Mollusky Jr., of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, a member of LaFore Lock Post 755, Springfield, didn’t have a lot of options.


Post 9284 member retires after nearly 33 years of military service

Sgt. Maj. David Owsley of Forsyth, Illinois, a member of Elk Grove Village Post 9284, retired from the Illinois Army National Guard after nearly 33 years of military service during a ceremony, April 1, at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield.


Highway 20 designated as Medal of Honor Highway

Senate Joint Resolution 28 designating U.S. Highway 20 as Medal of Honor Highway unanimously passed as Illinois joins the effort to rename the 3,365 miles of Highway 20 spanning the nation from the Pacific to Atlantic Oceans.


Highway 146 from Anna to Vienna to be named in honor of Brian Romines

The Illinois State Legislature has adopted Joint Resolution 42, designating the section of Route 146 between Anna and Vienna, Illinois as the “Sergeant Brian Romines Memorial Highway”.


Area student in art contest receives $1,000

Erica Zirkelbach of Mount Vernon entered an art piece into a scholarship competition at the VFW Post 2055 Auxiliary in Centralia. After she made it to regionals in the Young American Creative Patriotic Contest, the VFW presented Zirkelbach with a surprise check for $1,000 toward her education.


Veterans Unite Town Hall Meeting

large crowd of Illinois veterans attend Town Hall Meeting with Legislators Hosted by VFW & American Legion Districts


Legislative Successes Dept. of Illinois

VFW Dept. of Illinois Leads the way!


Homestead exemption for veterans with disabilities

A bill long in the making passes Illinois House & Senate


FAQs - PCI Project

Get a postcard in the mail from PCI? Have questions? Here's a list of the most frequently asked questions about the VFW Illinois project with PCI.


Job Opportunity Assistant State Service Officer

An exciting position to help veterans


National Home Board Selects Michael Wilson as new Executive Director

The Board of Trustees has selected Michael Wilson as the Executive Director of the VFW National Home for Children. Michael succeeds Fred Puffenberger, who retired in October 2021. Michael will begin this new role on January 3rd, 2022.


Click on the title below to read the full article on the VFW National website.

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All In the Same Boat


Veterans Organizations Comment on Halt to VA's Asset and Infrastructure Review Process


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VFW and EagleRider Deliver Discounts to Members


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VFW Members Gain Access to TruHearing's Network and Savings


Happy Birthday Army ... and to the Standard You Bear!


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The Cost of War


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VFW-Supported Toxic Exposure Bill Passes in the House