DUQUOIN – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named longtime Illinoisan and Disabled American Veteran (DAV) State Commander William Musgrave as the State of Illinois’ August “Veteran of the Month” for his longtime commitment to the Veterans of Southern Illinois and for his dedication to the safety of the Cobden community. The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) presented the award to Musgrave during a special ceremony at “Veterans Day” at the DuQuoin State Fair.
William Musgrave proudly served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1972, serving one tour overseas in Vietnam. After returning home from battle and his military service, Musgrave continued to serve his country in a different uniform. For more than 21 years, Musgrave served as a volunteer firefighter for the Village of Cobden. He was on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and helped to ensure that the residents of Cobden remained safe.
“Our Veterans bravely answered this nation’s call to duty and protected our freedom. And some continue to go above and beyond; serving the people of this country even after their time in the military is complete. These Veterans deserve special recognition. William Musgrave is one of these extraordinary Veterans who has given his all to this country in uniform and then dedicated his life helping and being an advocate for Veterans in Southern Illinois. Today, we rightfully honor him with this award,” said Governor Blagojevich.
The Governor’s “Veteran of the Month” award is a distinction that is given monthly to military Veterans who give back to their community and other Veterans.
“At ‘Veterans Day’ at the DuQuoin State Fair, we join together to honor all those who have served our country and fought to protect our freedom. Today we also take time to recognize one Veteran from Illinois in particular – Bill Musgrave. Bill is an exceptional individual who continues to give back to this state and his community. He is a perfect example of what the ‘Veteran of the Month’ award embodies, not only serving in uniform in the military, but also as a volunteer firefighter,” IDVA Director Tammy Duckworth said.
For his service, Musgrave received the National Defense Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Campaign Stars, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm.
Upon returning home, Musgrave wanted to remain active in the Veteran community. In 1972, he joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). A life member, Musgrave has held numerous positions with the VFW at both the State and District levels, including: Junior Vice Commander, Senior Vice Commander, Inspector, House Committee member, Trustee, Burial Team member, Resolution Committee member at VFW state convention and the National Aide de Camp to the Nation VFW Commander. Musgrave is also a lifetime member of the DAV where he has served in a variety of positions at the Chapter, State and District levels. Currently, he is serving as Commander for the State of Illinois. He is also a member of American Legion and the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).
Musgrave decided that he wanted to better the lives of his fellow Illinois comrades. For years, Musgrave has been and continues to be a loyal and dedicated volunteer at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Anna and the Marion VA Medical Center (VAMC). Unselfishly spending his time and energy to better the lives of the residents and hospitalized Veterans, he assists with bingo, holiday parties, gift drives, among other celebrations at both facilities. Musgrave was appointed to serve on the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Anna Advisory Board in 2006 and remains active. He is also a Veterans Task Force Member at the Marion VAMC.
In addition to his voluntary commitment to the state’s Veterans, Musgrave has been involved with the local youth community. For eight years, he volunteered his time to serve as a mentor and a friend to the local Boy Scouts. Musgrave was the Boy Scout Master and Assistant Boy Scout Master from 1991 – 1999 and helped to organize many events including the Boy Scout’s yearly Food Drive program.
Born in 1948 in Gary, Indiana, Musgrave and his family moved to Cobden in 1952 and Illinois has been his residence ever since. He is married, a proud father of five children, and a grandfather of five.
Today’s “Veteran of the Month” presentation took place during “Veterans Day” at the DuQuoin State Fair. Admission to the Fair was free for Veterans and their families and the day included a “Supermarket of Veterans’ Benefits” to help Veterans apply for an array of benefits available from both the state and federal governments. IDVA had several field officers on hand to provide one-on-one assistance to those Veterans who needed help filing their benefits claims. In addition, many state and federal agencies, along with regional medical centers and businesses from across Illinois, were there to provide information about job and education opportunities and much more.
The “Veteran of the Month” award highlights the work of community activists who are also military Veterans. Each month, on behalf of Governor Blagojevich, the Department recognizes a different person or group that contributes to the betterment of communities across the state of Illinois. To nominate a “Veteran of the Month,” please visit IDVA’s website at http://veterans.illinois.gov
or call IDVA at (312) 814-5538 to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.