Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0253
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Full Text of HR0253  103rd General Assembly




HR0253LRB103 32230 MST 61420 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives wish to congratulate Dean Preston on being
4awarded the French Legion d'honneur, France's highest
5distinction awarded to those who have done great deeds for
6France; and
7    WHEREAS, Dean Preston graduated from Pekin Community High
8School in 1942, and along with his brother, Jim, voluntarily
9entered the service ahead of the draft; after basic training,
10he was sent to advanced radio repair school, where he was
11trained to integrate wired telephones and field sets with a
12wireless radio network; and
13    WHEREAS, Dean Preston was assigned as a corporal to U.S.
14Army, 927th Signal Battalion, Separate, Tactical Air Command;
15in August of 1944, he and his battalion were assigned to
16support Operation Dragoon, the invasion force of Southern
17France; in December of 1944, he found himself in "no-man's
18land" when a German winter counter-attack through the Ardennes
19Forest in concert with the Battle of the Bulge and a German
20operation that headed south into Eastern France called
21Operation Nordwind converged in the same area; miraculously,
22he survived, and as the war was coming to an end in March of
231945, he joined with the 101st Airborne Division, whose task



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1was to hunt down any fanatical German resistance; and
2    WHEREAS, Dean Preston departed the European Theater of
3Operations from Marseille on November 21, 1945 and arrived
4back in the United States on December 4, 1945; following the
5war, fellow 927th Signal Battalion Radioman Ted Richardson
6credited Dean with saving his life; and
7    WHEREAS, During his time in the service, Dean Preston
8earned the American Campaign Medal, the European African
9Middle East Campaign Medal with five Campaign Stars for
10Northern France, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland, and
11Central Europe, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the World War II
12Victory Medal, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation citation;
13he also earned three Overseas Bars and qualified as an Expert
14with the Carbine Rifle and Sub-Machine Gun; and
15    WHEREAS, Dean Preston graduated from the University of
16Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
17in 1949; and
18    WHEREAS, Dean Preston was employed by the American
19Distilling Company in Pekin for 28 years, serving as a
20bottling superintendent; he later continued in that capacity
21for Midwest Grain for seven additional years, formally
22retiring in 1987; since that time, he has and continues to work



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1part-time as a greeter and driver for the Preston-Hanley
2Funeral Home in Pekin; and
3    WHEREAS, Dean Preston was a 12-year member of the Tazewell
4County Sheriff's Auxiliary Patrol; he is a Life Member of
5Empire Lodge 126, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of Illinois
6in Pekin and a member of William Schaefer American Legion Post
744; and
8    WHEREAS, Dean Preston is a former member of the Pekin
9Barbershop Chorus, a youth counselor with Junior Achievement,
10and the Drum Sergeant of the Shrine Kiltie Band in Peoria; and
11    WHEREAS, Dean Preston and his wife, Alberta, had 66
12wonderful years together before her passing; and
13    WHEREAS, Dean Preston will turn 99 years of age in
14November of 2023; therefore, be it
17we congratulate Dean Preston on being awarded the French
18Legion d'honneur, and we wish him many more wonderful years;
19and be it further
20    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be



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1presented to Dean Preston as a symbol of our respect and