DEKALB –The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today honored Steven Kreitzer, a DeKalb resident and U.S. Army veteran, at its June 2012 “Veteran of the Month.”
“Steven Kreitzer is an exceptional veteran who continues to devote his time, energy and creativity to serving fellow veterans and their families,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “He is an outstanding role model—for veterans and civilians alike—and we proudly salute him for his accomplishments at Northern Illinois University and in the greater DeKalb region.”
Kreitzer was honored during a ceremony today at the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission offices. The Illinois Veteran of the Month award is a distinction bestowed upon military veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military. Kreitzer served in the Army from 2004 to 2008 as a cannon crew member, including one tour during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
Kreitzer’s personal and professional achievements include:
• For his military service, Kreitzer was awarded the Army Commendation Medal (2nd award) with one oak leaf cluster; Army Achievement Award (3rd award) with two oak leaf clusters; National Defense Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Combat Action Badge; Air Assault Badge; and, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars.
• On the home front after his military service, Kreitzer pursued an undergraduate degree in economics at Northern Illinois University and joined the NIU Veterans Club. He was also a founding member of NIU’s Delta Upsilon International Fraternity chapter. He participated in the J.P. Morgan Chase mentorship program and has been a member of the American Economic Association for the last two years.
• In the local veteran community, Kreitzer:
* Currently serves as a VA work-study student with the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission, and as a senior vice president for the Sycamore VFW Post 5768, after a year as junior vice president;
* Worked as a VA work-study student and Veteran’s Benefit Counselor with NIU; and,
* Organized the first-ever Veteran’s Day Oil Change, which brought together local organizations and businesses for a good cause. Since the program’s 2009 inception, he has expanded the event to include more oil change locations to help serve more veterans. In 2011, some 226 veterans received free oil changes at 20 locations throughout north central Illinois.
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.