Mid-America Military Salute to Honor Veterans [Interview]
The Mid-America Military Salute is coming up in September at the Adams County Fairgrounds. Dave Ulrich has dedicated countless hours to helping our veterans, and was even named the Humanitarian of the Year in Quincy in 2014 for his efforts. As an organizer, Dave was happy to give us the details about this great event.
Dave, when and where is this year Mid-America Military Salute?
The 2015 Mid-America Military Salute Event will be held on Saturday September 12 at the Adams County Fairgrounds near Mendon, Illinois. The event will run from noon to 11p.m.
Tell us about the event this year.
The Mid-America Military Salute Event is 100% free of admission to everyone. You have to buy your food and beer and soda, but the rest of the day is on us.
Our tag line is: "Honoring Our Military, Our Veterans & Their Families"
This year we are planning (subject to change) on having three stages of music with nine bands, seven of them local, then the Blue Collar Rebels from Kentucky, and our headliner. In the next couple of weeks we hope to be able to announce the headliner which, if everything stays on course, will be a Nashville act that has a hit on the charts as I write this. They also were nominated for a 2015 CMA Award. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for that announcement soon.
Our main display this year will be an exhibit called "Portraits Of A Soldier". This exhibit will be open 24 hours a day from Friday September 11 to Sunday September 13 in the Morton Building at the Fairgrounds. The Portrait of a Soldier exhibit is a traveling display of hand-sketched portraits of fallen service members from Illinois who have been killed since September 11, 2001 in the Global War on Terror. Artist Cameron Schilling, of Mattoon, drew the first portrait in August 2004, after Army SPC Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, was killed in Iraq. Schilling gave the sketch to SPC Neeley’s parents to convey his sympathy for their loss. In October 2005, while a student at Eastern Illinois University, Schilling decided to draw a portrait of every Illinois service member who has fallen during the Global War on Terror. The portraits are copies of the original, which has been given to the fallen soldiers next of kin.
We will also have the "Schneider Ride Of Pride" truck and for the 2nd year the American Spirit Mustang. We are still working on getting some other special Military cars and trucks.
We are adding a bike show this year, along with more vendors. Our kids area will once again be free with bounce houses, a children's entertainment stage with 6 hours of entertainment. We will also have a fireworks show at the end of the night.
We are also hoping to have a military reenactment again this year. We also have many more things we are looking into adding to the event. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for all of the latest updates.
Can anyone get involved, and if so, how?
We are always in need of volunteers. We use them for our main event and other events we do thought the year, like parades and our up coming "Let's Play For The Red, White & Blue" event.
To become a volunteer you can fill out the form online.
Tell us about some of the other work you've done in honor of our veterans.
I have attended 26 of the 30 Great River Honor Flight Homecomings. I was a Guardian on Mission XXI in September of 2013. I was involved in the Fishing For Freedom event for its first 4 years. We are now working on building a 4th wheelchair ramp for an area veteran. We have built one in Warsaw, one in Payson and this will be our 2nd one in Quincy.
I have raised lots of money for veterans organization in the Quincy area. My "Pins For Patriots" bowling fundraiser and my "Tee-Off FORE Veterans" fundraising golf event have raised over $10,000 in the past 2 1/2 years. My golf event this year will be on October 3 at Arrowhead Heights Golf Course in Camp Point.
Tell us about receiving the Humanitarian Award in Quincy last year.
I was nominated by a friend and I had no idea until I got the call from John at Cornerstone. I was stunned. I don't do these things to get awards, but it gave me a great chance to get up in front of the 900 people that attended and tell them about some great organizations and things that I am involved with. But mostly it gave me a chance to say THANK YOU to the people in my life that have made me who I am, like my mom and dad, Betty and Jerry Ulrich. They have been volunteering for over 40 years. I'm not who I am without them.
The thing that got me the most was the video that Cornerstone/ Media Development did that featured some of my family and friends. To hear them say those things still chokes me up.
Watch Dave's Humanitarian Award video: