News: Medal of Honor recipient receives Order of Lincoln Medallion
Story by Capt. Jennifer Bocanegra
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and members of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois posthumously awarded Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller the Order of the Lincoln Medallion during their 48th Annual Convocation and Investiture of Laureates, Saturday, April 21.
Seven citizens of Illinois, including Capt. James Lovell, the Commander of Apollo 13, were recognized for their service and exceptional lifetime achievements during the ceremony which took place at the Illinois State Capitol House of Representatives Chamber.
The Order of the Lincoln Medallion is considered the state of Illinois’ highest award. Each year, the academy elects Illinois citizens whose outstanding contributions improve the social, cultural, and technological progress of mankind and are considered deserving of tribute by the Academy.
According to the Academy’s Executive Director, those who are selected become members of the Academy, are proclaimed Laureates, and decorated with the Order of Lincoln, at a formal public ceremony each year.
“Each of our laureates have devoted their lives to service,” said Quinn. “The ethic of service is really what ties our country together.”
After receiving the award from Quinn on behalf of her son, Maureen Miller spoke about her son’s life, personal attributes and dedication to service.
“It is with solemn pride that I accept this award on behalf of my son Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller … my family is so proud for all he accomplished,” said Miller.
Three former members of Miller’s Operational Detachment Alpha and high school friend Robert Kaye also attended the event to pay tribute to the fallen soldier.
Miller was killed in action on Jan. 25, 2008, after his ODA came under heavy enemy fire while conducting combat operations in Konar province, Afghanistan. He was posthumously recognized with the Medal of Honor on Oct. 6, 2010, for his heroic actions during the engagement which saved the lives of several of his teammates.
“This convocation takes place during the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Medal of Honor by Abraham Lincoln," said Quinn. “There is no better example or role model than Rob Miller. We thank Staff Sgt. Miller for his purposeful life.”