Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs honors recent grad as June 2012 ‘Veteran of the Month’

Steven Kreitzer was joined at this morning’s ceremony by his nominator, Anna Stevens, who formerly worked with students in NIU Military Student Services.
Steven Kreitzer was joined at this morning’s ceremony by his nominator, Anna Stevens, who formerly worked with students in NIU Military Student Services.

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today honored Steven Kreitzer, a May graduate of NIU and veteran of the U.S. Army, at its June 2012 “Veteran of the Month.”

“Steven Kreitzer is an exceptional veteran who continues to devote his time, energy and creativity to serving fellow veterans and their families,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren.

“He is an outstanding role model – for veterans and civilians alike – and we proudly salute him for his accomplishments at Northern Illinois University and in the greater DeKalb region.”

The Illinois Veteran of the Month award is a distinction bestowed upon military veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military.

Kreitzer served in the Army from 2004 to 2008 as a cannon crew member, including one tour during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His resume boasts several personal and professional achievements.

For his military service, Kreitzer was awarded:

  • the Army Commendation Medal with star in lieu of second award;
  • Army Achievement Award with two stars in lieu of third award;
  • National Defense Service Medal;
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal;
  • Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon;
  • Army Service Ribbon;
  • Overseas Service Ribbon;
  • Combat Action Badge; and,
  • the Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars.

On the home front after his military service, Kreitzer pursued an undergraduate degree in economics at NIU and joined the NIU Veterans Club. He was also a founding member of NIU’s Delta Upsilon international fraternity chapter. He participated in the J.P. Morgan Chase mentorship program, and has been a member of the American Economic Association for the last two years.

In the local veteran community, Kreitzer currently serves as a VA work-study student with the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission, and as a senior vice president for the Sycamore VFW Post 5768, after a year as junior vice president.

He worked as a VA work-study student and veterans benefit counselor with NIU, where he organized the first-ever Veterans Day Oil Change. The event brought together local organizations and businesses for a good cause and, since the program’s 2009 inception, he has expanded the event to include more oil change locations to help serve more veterans. In 2011, some 226 veterans received free oil changes at 20 locations throughout north central Illinois.

“Steve was an outstanding student employee in our office last year and did tremendous work uniting veteran support within the campus and DeKalb and Sycamore communities,” said Scott Peska, director of Military Student Services. “We are all very proud of this recognition for Steve, as he was a role model to other student veterans at Northern Illinois University.”

Today’s ceremony took place at the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission offices.

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