On Thursday, November 20th, Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois will present “To Honor and To Serve: The Goodwill Veterans Recognition Event” in the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom.

General Wayne A. Downing was scheduled to speak at the original event, scheduled for November of last year. However, after the General’s untimely passing, Goodwill worked with his wife, Mrs. Kathy Downing, to bring forth this year’s event.

Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw will take his friend’s place as the keynote speaker of the evening. He will join Goodwill to thank veterans from throughout central Illinois and to honor the memory of General Downing.

A total of five awards will be presented to those who support veterans and continue to put their issues and needs in the forefront. Caterpillar Inc. is sponsoring the most prestigious of awards, The General Wayne A. Downing Award, to honor the integrity and service of General Downing, a man who served his country so that the benefits of freedom and democracy could be enjoyed by all of humanity. In addition, The Goodwill Home for Veterans will be named after General Downing.

Other awards to be presented include The Veteran Patriot Award, sponsored by Advanced Technology Services, Inc.; The Military Patriot Award, sponsored by Vonachen Services Inc.; The Citizen Patriot Award, sponsored by CEFCU; and The Business/Association Patriot Award, sponsored by OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

Show your support for our veterans, and join Goodwill, Tom Brokaw and Mrs. Kathy Downing to honor the General and our other soldiers for their representation of what it means to be an American patriot. For more information, visit goodwillpeo.org. a&s