DeKalb, IL – Following up on the recent news that DeKalb (IL) has been honored as Veteran City of the Year in Illinois, local DeKalb veteran Michael Embrey received the honor of State of Illinois Veteran of the Year (2023-24).
This honor comes from the National 40&8 Veteran Organization, the State of Illinois Chapter. The purpose of the award is to recognize and honor a veteran who is doing something significant to honor veterans or veteran families in a select community and surrounding area. The chosen veteran must have performed outstanding service and bring honor to the Regional Chapter of the 40&8 organization, being local, regional, state, or national.
“Our state award committee was extremely impressed with the efforts of Michael Embrey supporting veterans and veteran projects”, commented Illinois 40&8 Award Chair Wallace ‘Wally’ Hammond. “His efforts to support not only veterans and veteran families, but to get veterans honored and acknowledged in his community.”
Michael Embrey is a US Air Force veteran, having served with the USAF premiere Band/Drum & Bugle Corps. He has lived and worked in the DeKalb area for over 50 years, first as the Northern Illinois University Band Director, then as a business owner with two companies based in DeKalb.
“We can never do enough to support and honor our veterans, whose service, sacrifice, and willingness to serve their country and for some that gave their lives for something greater than themselves,” commented Michael Embrey. “This military commitment to our country by men and women service members humbles me daily. It is more than just saying ‘Thank You for Your Service’. ”
Embrey is a member of several military service organizations including ‘Taps for Veterans’. He has performed TAPS at 1,500 military funerals and civic events for over 50 years, including being invited to perform TAPS at the ‘American Cemetery’ in Normandy, France.
“Honoring your country and its veterans is more than a passing commitment,” said Embrey. “It means you stand tall and still get goosebumps when you hear the National Anthem being sung, and the spirit of patriotism lifts your heart when you fly the American Flag for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Veteran’s Day.”
“As you drive around the City of DeKalb you can see and experience a variety of Veteran projects that Michael Embrey has helped orchestrate,” stated City of DeKalb Mayor Cohen Barnes (US Army Veteran). “From pushing a campaign to get DeKalb selected as the State of Illinois Veteran Friendly City, to select attractions, military banners, and most recently the new DeKalb Veteran’s Memorial located on the grounds of the DeKalb ELKS Lodge – as well as new memorials and events yet to be announced.”
The National 40&8 organization is an independent, by invitation, honor society of American veterans, more commonly known as “The Forty & Eight”. Veteran (Voyageur-French) of the Year honor goes to someone within a state organization that exemplifies the true meaning of Americanism and patriotism. The Forty & Eight is committed to charitable and patriotic aims. The Forty and Eight is an organization of veterans of the United States armed forces. Its official name is “La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux,” which is French, and translates as “The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses.” Forty and Eight, is a nonprofit organization of U.S. Veterans headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is made up of state, U.S. territory, and overseas groups, and these are in turn made up of local chapters. This veteran organization started after the end of World War I in 1919, to both honor the French nurses that treated the American GI and also to help fund scholarships for WWI deceased veteran’s children.
Click Here To Submit A News Tip Or Story