CHICAGO –The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) later this month will honor Estan “Stan” Villarreal, Jr. a Mundelein resident and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, at its April 2012 “Veteran of the Month.” The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. (CDT) on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at the Captain James A. Lovell FHCC, 3001 North Green Bay Road, Bldg. 135, Room 148, North Chicago, Ill. 60064.
“Stan Villarreal is an exceptional Illinois veteran who continues to put the needs of others above his own,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “His dedication to family, community and fellow veterans is truly inspirational and deserving of IDVA’s highest honor.”
The Illinois Veteran of the Month award is a distinction bestowed upon military veterans who give back to their communities. Villarreal served in the Marine Corps from 1966 to 1969, including a tour in Vietnam from 1967-1968 with India Company 3rd BN 7th Marines 1st Marine Division, with combat operations at Liberty Bridge, Arizona Territory, Dodge City and Phu Loc.
Villarreal’s personal and professional achievements include:
· For his military service, he was cited for bravery on three occasions for carrying wounded Marines to safety under fire; twice recommended for meritorious promotion to the rank of sergeant; and, after returning stateside, he was assigned as the Duty Warden in the base brig at Cherry Point North Carolina.
· On the home front, Villarreal joined the Mundelein Police Department and served from 1970 to 1995 in a various positions including traffic investigations, training, community policing, and High Risk Felony Response Team, and post advisor for the department’s Law Enforcement Explorer Post, where he served for 19 years and earned numerous volunteer honors. Villarreal also was honored by Mundelein for rescuing victims from burning buildings on three separate occasions. In 1991, he was honored by then-Governor Jim Edgar for saving a fellow officer’s life.
· In the veteran community, Villarreal organized and founded Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 714, where he serves as a life member. Additionally, he was elected president numerous times since 1986. He also is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, and holds memberships in American Legion Post 867, VFW Post 7191, and the Marine Corps League of Lake County. On top of all that, he serves as Color Guard for Mundelein’s Memorial Day and Independence Day parades, volunteers as a member of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Patriot Guard, and the Lake County Veteran’s Assistance office.
· In his spare time, Villarreal spends time with his family, including six grandchildren; and relaxes by restoring his 1951 M38 Willys Jeep.
The “Veteran of the Month” award highlights the work of community servants who are also military veterans. Each month 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 veterans.illinois.gov to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.