Chicago -- The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) recognized Loxie U. Sanders III – a U.S. Army veteran, veteran leader, and a retired Amtrak Conductor awarded for bravery – as the Illinois Veteran of the Month for April 2014 at a ceremony at in Kankakee today.
“Loxie Sanders is a great example of a veteran who carries the spirit and sacrifice of service forward into a successful civilian career,” said Rodrigo Garcia, Marine Corps veteran and Assistant Director, IDVA. “His bravery and efforts in saving so many following a tragic train accident in 2011 demonstrates his accomplishment that day. We are here to honor and thank him for his long career of helping others and for his future efforts within our vibrant veterans’ community in Illinois.”
In 1980, Mr. Sanders’s service as a Medic with the Army was cut short due to injuries received while rescuing the victims of a traffic accident while on his way home to Illinois to be married. Unable to complete his enlistment he became a Conductor for Amtrak. On June 24, 2011, while traveling as a passenger on a family trip on the California Zephyr through Nevada, tragedy struck. A commercial semi truck and an Amtrak passenger train collided, near on U.S. 95 in Churchill County, Nevada, Sanders and other rescued people trapped on the burning train, suffering burns and injuries in the rescue effort. He was honored by the State of Nevada Highway patrol with Medal of Valor; the US Department of Transportation for heroism, and other recognitions. He is descended from Joseph “Pap” Tetter, the first settler of Hopkins Park, Illinois. Sanders retired from Amtrak and is active in his local community, helping veterans and students.
He was nominated by Kathy Bower, the Veteran Service Officer for Montgomery County, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
About Veteran of the Month
The Illinois Veteran of the Month Award is presented to veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military and make a real difference in the lives of others. Each month the Department recognizes a different veteran who contributes to communities across the state of Illinois. To nominate a veteran for consideration, please visit veterans.illinois.gov for the guidelines and a nomination form. Each recipient is presented a proclamation signed by the Governor and the IDVA Director, as well as a state flag.