Guard Veteran from Chicago's Southside Receives Meritorious Service Medal
Master Sgt. Eric Drakes served for more than 32 years in the Illinois Army National Guard
ELGIN, IL (09/26/2018) (readMedia)-- Master Sgt. (ret.) Eric Drakes from Chicago's Southside was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal after serving for more than 32 years in the Illinois Army National Guard.
Drakes was awarded the medal for "exceptionally meritorious service" while serving with the North Riverside, Illinois-based 405th Brigade Support Battalion. The medal presentation was part of the battalion's annual ball on Sept. 8 in the Holiday Inn in Elgin. Drakes reminded the Soldiers at the ball that "It is the noncommissioned officers (the sergeants) that make things happen in the United States Army."
Drakes was certified as an Army light-wheeled vehicle mechanic, instructor and small-arms repairer among other skills. He was also trained in trouble-shooting and maintaining the electrical systems of Army vehicles. He was awarded multiple medals and decorations during his service including the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, two National Defense Service Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Homeland Security Medals, the NATO Medal, and two Overseas Service Ribbons.