DeKalb, IL: The local veteran organization Forty and Eight would like to congratulate and recognize local DeKalb military veteran Michael Embrey (US Air Force veteran). Embrey received the 2022 State of Illinois award for ‘Americanism’ for his outstanding work on behalf of veterans. Each year State of Illinois Chapters of The Forty and Eight veteran military organizations select someone who demonstrates a high standard of promoting various projects that benefits fellow veterans and veterans’ families, not only local but regional and nationally. This year’s State of Illinois 40&8 Convention was held in Bloomington, Illinois on August 6th.
The Americanism Award is the most prestigious award given by the Forty and Eight, at both the state and national levels. Each state winner is expected to attend the National Convention as a state winner. From all the state winners, a National Winner will be selected and be the ‘keynote speaker’ at the official formal closing night function. The National 40&8 Convention will be in Green Bay, Wisconsin September 15th to 18th.
“The DeKalb Chapter 207 of 40&8 was proud to select Michael Embrey as our chapter’s candidate for the State of Illinois Americanism Award,” commented Dr. John Chatellier, an officer with the DeKalb County 40&8 Chapter. “We were extremely pleased he was selected as our State winner.”
The Forty and Eight is an independent honor society of American veterans and service members; more commonly known as 40&8. The Forty and Eight is committed to charitable and patriotic aims. The primary purpose of the organization is to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, to promote the well-being of veterans, their widows, widowers and orphans, and to actively participate in selected charitable endeavors, which include programs that promote Americanism and nurses training.
Each state 40&8 organization can select or nominate a candidate for the “Americanism Award” based on someone’s efforts to foster and support the true concept of Americanism and being patriotic. The 40&8 Americanism Award is both the highest honor and the most prestigious award given to an individual who meets a unique set of guidelines. These guidelines require an individual to be involved in an “Americanism” type program on a National or very broad regional scale level.
The titles and symbols of The Forty and Eight are derived from the experiences of U.S. military troops during World War I. American soldiers were transported to the front lines on the French rail system. Cramped into narrow gauge boxcars, each stenciled with “40 Hommes/8 Chevaux”, denoting its capacity to hold either 40 men or 8 horses. This uncomfortable mode of transportation was a familiar common experience for almost every WW1 Doughboy heading to the front and that fought in the trenches; this experience was a small mutual misery among American soldiers. Thereafter, they found “40/8” a lighthearted symbol of the deeper service, unspoken horrors, and shared sacrifice that bind all who have endured combat during WW I.
During the war efforts, many wounded American service members were taken care of by local French nurses, who knew that without the Americans’ help, France was doomed to fall under Germany’s rule. This aid and caring were noted by many military members as they returned stateside. Once the 40& 8 was formed, part of their program and goals were to create scholarship money for nurse training. The DeKalb County Chapter of 40&8 Veteran Organization awards scholarship funds to people in the Nursing Program at Kishwaukee College (IL).
The Forty & Eight was founded in 1920 by American veterans returning from France. Originally an arm of The American Legion, the Forty & Eight became an independent and separately incorporated veteran’s organization in 1960. Membership is by invitation of honorably discharged veterans and honorably serving members of the United States Armed Forces.
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