PHL government honors US Marine squadron in Chicago
published in dwdd.com.ph
Chicago, (DWDD) —The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago held the awarding of Military Civic Action Medals to members of the Marine Light Helicopter Squadron, United States Marine Reserve (HML-776) on August 23 at the Kalayaan Hall.
HML-776 was a helicopter squadron under the US Marines which was originally bound for the Gulf War in 1991. But since the war ended quickly and resoundingly in favor of the US-led coalition, HML-776 was not deployed to Iraq and Kuwait.
They remained at the Subic Naval Base, their training and launching ground, until Mt. Pinatubo erupted in June 1991. Later, they were given orders to work with the Philippine government, augmenting and assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in relief efforts in conducting rescue and relief operations to help communities in Central Luzon that stood in the path of the rampaging lahar.
For their assistance to the AFP at the time, the AFP General Headquarters, through the Office of Veterans Affairs of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C., issued the Military Civic Action Medals and their accompanying citation. These medals were awarded to the men of HML-776 by Philippine Consul General Generoso D.G. Calonge during last Saturday’s ceremony.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, Maj. Gen. William Collins of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Lt. Gen. John Bergman of the Marine Forces Reserve and Fr. Dan Brandt of the Chicago Police Department. Around 37 of the 106 members of HML-776 were present in the ceremony and some were accompanied by their family members. Reporters of ABC-7 Chicago and WGN Chicago covered the event.
The members of HML-776 were very appreciative of the program and shared their plans to visit the Philippines in the near future.
Filipino snacks were then served at the conclusion of the ceremony, adding to the feeling of nostalgia among the squadron members.