BELLEVILLE – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today named Air Force Veteran Howard Bateman of Belleville the October 2010 Veteran of the Month at a ceremony at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Belleville.
The Illinois “Veteran of the Month” award is a distinction that is given to military Veterans who give back to their community and continue to serve other Veterans. IDVA Director Dan Grant presented the award to Bateman, 74, a retired U.S. Department of Defense contractor.
Bateman’s distinguished military career as an Air Force Veteran spanned more than two decades. During his career he was awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (with three oak leaf clusters) and a Presidential Unit Citation Award (with three oak leaf clusters) among many other awards. Bateman retired from the Air Force in 1978 as a Master Sergeant.
Following military service, Bateman worked as a U.S. Department of Defense contractor for 17 years, retiring in 1996. He currently serves as Commander of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Local Chapter 24 and the Egyptian District DAV in Illinois. Bateman has also volunteered for more than a decade at the Cahokia Mounds Interpretive Center, taught Rules of the Road to senior citizens from 1998-2003 for the Illinois Secretary of State, and has been a keynote speaker for the Memorial Day services at the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Anna.
“Commander Bateman truly embodies the spirit of a public servant. He served his country bravely and with honor, and has continued to serve his community through his work with the Disabled American Veterans and other organizations helping veterans,” said IDVA Director Dan Grant. “He is an asset to St. Clair County and to all veterans, and we are proud to honor his achievements today.”