Army Veterans Angelo Diliberti and Andy Balafas at Pillars of Honor

I met Army Veterans Angelo Diliberti and Andy Balafas at the Pillars of Honor program in Elgin honoring local veterans. These two gentleman shared a couple of their stories with me.

Andy Balafas was a teenager when he joined the Army then decided to make a career of it. He was just 19 years old when he attended jump school. Andy is the first to admit that this program was physically taxing. During his career, he made an impressive 7 jumps.

Angelo Diliberti also attended jump school, though not until he was 47 years old. In his long career in Special Forces, he completed over 100 jumps.

Army Veterans Angelo Diliberti and Andy Balafas at Pillars of Honor

Army Veterans Angelo Diliberti and Andy Balafas at Pillars of Honor

Angelo’s most memorable jump occurred during a demonstration at Cantigny with the Airborne Reserves. A sudden wind gust yanked his parachute off course in the cramped drop zone and he found himself dangling with his shoot entangled in the trees.

Angelo attended President Eisenhower‘s funeral, attending to General Omar Bradley for the week.

Angelo is Commander of the St. Charles Amvet’s Post and a member of the Amvet’s District staff.

Thanks to all our veterans and service people who protect our country.

Army Veterans Angelo Diliberti and Andy Balafas talk with April M. Williams

Army Veterans Angelo Diliberti and Andy Balafas talk with April M. Williams

Pillars of Honor Brings War Memorial to WW2 Veterans

More than thirty World War 2 veterans were the heroes at a Pillars of Honor program hosted by Elgin’s Gail Borden Library. Family, friends and community members gathered to show respect for these local men and women, former Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Frances Mai-Ling, an alternative-classical pianist, set the mood performing original compositions.

The packed room enjoyed period songs before a mixed branch color guard presented the colors. Guest speaker Lt. Kevin Milligan, US Navy, thanked the vets for their service and shared stories from his four tours overseas.

Pillars of Honor

Vets and families viewing a model of the Washington, DC WW2 Memorial

On display was a scale model of the World War 2 Memorial on the mall in Washington DC. This is the original model Senator Bob Dole presented to Congress to gain approval for the memorial. Many of these veterans are unable to travel to the memorial and the Pillars of Honor program brings the memorial to them.

Dessee Dye

Retired Army veteran Jessee Dye. His son shows photo of his Dad as a WW2 medic

We met Retired Army medic and author Jessee Dye. His son showed us a photo of his Dad back when he was a medic in Europe.

To date, fifteen Pillars of Honor programs have shown appreciation for our vets with plans to continue at least one a month. Follow Pillars of Honor on Facebook for details on upcoming programs.

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