Purple Heart veterans set to attend Mike Hike
October 31, 2012 1:14PM
Participants in the Mike Hike 5K run/walk work their way down Heroes Trail in Homer Glen at last year's Mike Hike. This year's event will raise funds for additional trail improvements and to establish a Veterans Memorial in Homer Glen. | FILE PHOTO
Updated: January 15, 2013 3:34PM
Purple Heart veterans will join the Homer Glen Foundation in remembering Pfc. Mike Olivieri.
At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, wounded veterans will pay their respects to the fallen soldier at the second annual Mike Hike 5K.
The opening ceremony will include John Domina, senior vice commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart for the state of Illinois, along with other combat-wounded veterans. The Mike Hike 5K, hosted by the Homer Glen Foundation, is run in honor of Olivieri, who was killed June 6, 2011, while serving in Iraq.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart works to foster an environment of good will and camaraderie among wounded veterans; promote patriotism; support necessary legislative initiatives; and, most importantly, provide service to all veterans and their families.
“We are honored to have these brave American heroes be part of the Mike Hike,” said Homer Glen Foundation President Laurel Ward. “It is such an inspiring event and a small way to say thanks to those who proudly serve our country.”
The foundation will be joined by U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski in recognizing all veterans as well as those who currently serve in the U.S. armed forces at the opening ceremony for the Mike Hike.
“PFC. Olivieri is a hero,” Domina said. “The Mike Hike is a great way to honor this fallen hero. The worst casualty of war is to be forgotten.”
Last year’s event raised funds for a trail connection and memorial garden honoring Olivieri. The connection is complete and the garden is being installed. This year’s event is raising funds for additional trail improvements and to establish a veterans memorial in Homer Glen.
Details and registration information can be found at the website www.mikehike5k.com.
Show your support this Veterans Day and take some time to reflect on those who have fallen. They are all heroes and should never be forgotten. Happy Veterans Day to those who are not with us, your commitment and dedication will never be forgotten.
Dinner for veterans
In honor of our veterans and to celebrate those who have served or are currently serving our country, First Presbyterian Church, at Western and Raynor avenues in Joliet, will host a dinner at 6 p.m. Nov. 11, which is Veterans Day Veterans, their families and friends and those in the community are invited to attend.
The pork roast dinner is free to veterans and soldiers home from deployment. There will be an opportunity for a free-will offering for those non-military folks.
Speakers include Cynthia Ketcham, superintendent of the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission, and Capt. Mike Wakeland, chaplain of the Illinois National Guard. Speakers will discuss how we can best receive and welcome veterans when they return home from service as well as the support services available to veterans.
Because space is limited, reservations are required by Nov. 7. Reservations can be made by calling the church office at 815-727-9259 or by email@example.com.
Next week, this column will feature Veterans Day events in the community honoring all veterans. If you have an event you would like to include, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.