Carlinville native Robert Scott honorary speaker at Litchfield ceremony
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
Last weekend, local communities honored military men and women, past and present, for their service.
As part of the American tradition, citizens of all ages organized and or took part in many events, activities and convocations for the annual Veteran’s Day celebration.
Blackburn College held its 17th Veteran’s Day convocation in the Clegg Chapel Nov. 10.
Following a piano prelude of “American The Beautiful,” presentation of the colors and National Anthem “The Star Spangled Banner,” Pastor Mitchell of the Federated Church led the congregation in a responsive prayer and Professor of Theatre Dr. Collin Vorbeck read “The Endless Battlefield” – a short reading outling the mental struggles of a former World War II combat trooper.
Next, Nate Rush came to the podium to recognize all of the veterans and invited each one to stand, along with family and friends who were associated. By the time he had finished, everyone in attendance was on their feet.
“Look all around you,” Rush said. “You can now see how much our military impacts all of us, one way or the other.”
This year’s guest speaker was Army veteran Bill Craig, who told the story of his service during the Cold War.
The ceremony concluded with the playing of “Taps” and a medley of hymns in salute to the troops.
Carlinville native Bobby Scott speaks at Litchfield ceremony
The VFW Post 3912 and Auxiliary, with the cooperation of other Litchfield veterans’ organizations, sponsored a Veterans Day Celebration at the Litchfield Veterans Memorial in Library Park Nov. 11.
After a welcome from Litchfield Mayor Steve Dougherty, Carlinville native Bobby Scott addressed the crowd.
Scott graduated from Carlinville High School in 1992. He has been married for 26 years and is the father to three children , including a U.S. Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, California.
In February of 1993, Bobby enlisted in the United States Navy. As a Machinist Mate 3rd Class (MM3), he was stationed onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) from 1993 to 1997.
Three deployments supporting Operation Southern Watch over Iraq, Operations Deny Flight and Sharp Guard over the skies of Bosnia, and then Operation Deliberate Force, were conducted during Scott’s enlistment.
Following his Navy career, Scott became part of the United States Army in November 1997 as a 68W, Combat Medic. During his tenure (1997-2017), he spent 14 years with the Infantry as a Combat Medic; four years at the United States Army Medical Department Center and School (AMEDDC&S) in San Antonio as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Dean of the Graduate School; and two years at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), where he held the position of the Operations Sergeant.
After being named a Detachment Sergeant for the HQ’s Company of the Division, Scott spent five years in Germany. He conducted operations in Kosovo for six months, and did the same in Iraq for the next two years.
Scott has been awarded numerous awards and medals throughout his career.
Scott officially retired from the military in 2017. However, he continues to serve the community as he currently works for the Veterans Assistance Commission of Macoupin County (VAC), which provides free services to the Veterans and their families.
Within this past year, Scott was recently appointed as the Superintendent of the VAC, where he spends countless hours reaching out to the Veteran Community to advocate, educate, and act as a liaison between the Veteran Community and the Veterans Affairs (VA) in all aspects such as benefits, compensation, healthcare enrollment and much more.
“I am deeply humbled to stand before you today,” Scott said. “I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of the veterans who have sacrificed so much and the families who have supported them throughout this journey.”
Scott’s speech was rooted specifically in the history of the federal holiday as well as the hard truth of how the county had ultimately fallen short in terms of providing appropriate support for veterans.”
“One of the most critical issues facing our community today is the tragic reality of veteran suicides,” Scott said as he read “staggering statistics of this widespread epidemic.”
“An average of 22 veterans are taking their own lives each day,” Scott added. “Since 2020, there were 151 related suicides committed here in Illinois and 6,146 nationwide. That is one too many. The pain and suffering behind this statistic is immeasurable and it is a crisis that demands our immediate attention and effective action. We must do more to provide a stronger support system, especially for all of the veterans that are struggling. Let us not only express our gratitude with words but live by them through our actions and unwavering support. We owe it to our veterans to stand by their side as they have done for us.”
Scott also shared the importance of caring for the physically wounded. He referenced a member of the National Guard named Heath Robinson, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer caused by prolonged exposure to burn pits and lost his life because he had been denied caregiver/healthcare benefits.
“It is essential to remember that Veteran’s Day is not just about reflecting on the past,” Scott said. “It is about addressing the challenges our veterans have and continue to face every day. Honoring them with just words falls terribly short if we do not bring those words to life by honoring them equally with deeds worthy of their sacrifice.”
Scott called the recently passed PACT act a “significant step in fulfilling that promise” and thanked all of the organizations such as AmVets, American Legions and all of the legislators for their efforts in lobbying to get this bill signed into law.
Per Scott, “if you have not visited your local VAC or Veteran Service Officer (VSO) do not hesitate. There are so many benefits out there not only for the veterans but potentially for the families as well.”