Who: Robert Krautstrunk, U.S. Navy Submarine Veteran, WWII
What: To be honored as the Illinois Veteran of the Month for July 2014
Where: Silver Stallion Restaurant, 1275 Lee St. Des Plaines, IL 60018
When: Friday, July 18, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
Robert Krautstrunk joined the Navy in January, 1944 and served as a Radioman 2nd Class in the waning days of World War II on the USS Requin (SS 481). Requin (ray-quin) was a Tench-class submarine and the only ship of the U.S. Navy to be named after the requin, a sand shark. As a “plank-holder” on the Requin, Krautstrunk was a member of the initial crew who took the boat from its commissioning in April 1945 to combat patrol duty in the Pacific. He was aboard the Requin on its first combat patrol in the Sea of Japan when the war ended and the boat was recalled to port. He received his honorable discharge in May 1946 and returned to Chicago.
After discharge, he returned to his Bell & Howell job until hired by the Hawthorn-Mellody Dairy as a home delivery milkman in 1950. In 1976 he left Hawthorn-Mellody as the President and General Manager of the Chicago Divisions, and entered into grocery store ownership that included Cary Finer Foods and Fairway Foods, and retired in 1990. Krautstrunk also served his community through a wide variety of roles, including public speaking, more than 1,500 hospital and homeless shelter volunteer hours, five years coaching Little and PONY League teams, as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, and he was active in the Stephens' Ministry Group. His leadership and service in the veteran community included service as the State Commander, Submarine Veterans of WWII (SVWWII), organizer of community Memorial Day and memorial service events, and as a charitable donation coordinator to the Chicago Cubs, Bears and White Sox on behalf of the SVWWII.
Ruth, his wife of 68 years, and their children - Kent Krautstrunk and Gale Burke - are anticipated to attend the ceremony. He was nominated for this recognition by Gene Weisbecker, the President, Submarine Veterans of WWII Greater Chicago Chapter.
The IDVA will be represented at this event by Rodrigo Garcia, Acting Director, IDVA. He will present the award on behalf of Governor Pat Quinn, which includes a framed proclamation as well as a State Flag. Media are welcome to attend. A “day-of” press release will be issued. All events are subject to change without notice. For IDVA interviews in advance of the event, please contact Ryan Yantis, communication manager, IDVA, email@example.com or 312-814-0778.