Chicago, IL – Cook County Commissioner Sean M. Morrison was pleased to join the Cook County Dept. of Veteran Affairs to honor the 2016 Silver Star Banner recipients at the June 29 Cook County Board Meeting. Silver Star Banner recipients are those veterans who have been wounded in a war zone as determined by the Department of Defense.
“It's always humbling to honor our nation's veterans and even more so when it’s our own constituents. The bravery, dedication and sacrifice by our veterans is immeasurable and should never be taken for granted or forgotten. Our Silver Star Banner recipients represent the very best our nation has to offer and so pleased to recognize them,” stated Commissioner Morrison.
Attending today’s ceremony from the 17th District was 2016 Silver Star Banner recipient United States Marine Corps Veteran John L. Szymanski (Pictured) of Palos Park. Sergeant John Szymanski, a Vietnam War veteran, is a three-time Purple Heart recipient and a recipient of the Navy Cross which is awarded for extraordinary heroism. The Navy Cross is the second highest military decoration that may be awarded to a member of the Navy, Marine Corps, (and to members of the Coast Guard when operating under the authority of the Dept. of the Navy).
Also honored today from the 17th District with a Silver Star Banner, but not in attendance, were: Army Veteran Michael E. Lake, Army Veteran William E. Scanlin and Army Veteran Michael J. Zarembski.
To qualify for the Silver Star Service Banner Program, Silver Star Families of America define wounded as the “Definition of war zone as determined by the Department of Defense”: Any Armed Forces personnel either currently serving honorably or those who have served honorably from any war, who having served in a war zone has been wounded by enemy action or who have been injured or contracted a serious illness that could be rated at least 10% disabled by the Department of Veteran Affairs. All wounds, injuries or illnesses must have originated in a war zone, including: Purple Heart recipients, victims of friendly fire, injured in a war zone, and those who suffer from PTS, TBI, Agent Orange Effects and Gulf War Syndrome.