Bronze Star Recipient to Lead Memorial Day Parade

Lifelong Auroran, veteran and Bronze Star recipient, Sergeant First Class (SFC) Christopher Hess, has been named Grand Marshal of the 2018 Memorial Day Parade.

“SFC Hess has been in the military for nearly three decades and is still on active duty,” said Mayor Irvin, a veteran of the United States Army. “He put his own life on the line to protect our nation during multiple tours of duty and continues to serve the greater Aurora community by preparing the next generation of young military leaders.”

Born and raised in Aurora, Hess is a Class of 1985 graduate of Aurora Central Catholic High School, where he has been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. He earned an sssociate’s degree from Waubonsee Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.

After college, Hess enlisted into the United States Marines where he served for four years, including a tour of duty in Operation Desert Storm. Since 2001, Hess has served with the Illinois Army National Guard completing tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he earned the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievements.

In his current role as career counselor of the Illinois National Guard Armory at East Aurora High School, Hess helps to guide the career paths of the next generation of military leaders.

“This is such an incredible honor,” said Hess when he was informed of the selection. “I’m humbled and grateful to serve my country and my community.”

Hess has received dozens of honors and recognitions, including the Bronze Star Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Illinois Lincoln Medal of Freedom, and the National Guard Master Recruiting Badge.

An active member of the Aurora Veterans Advisory Committee, Hess is also a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Marine Corps League. He is the proud father of Emily Marie and Elizabeth Anne Hess.

SFC Hess will lead the 2018 Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28, at noon in downtown Aurora. He will be honored at the next meeting of the Aurora City Council on Tuesday, May 22, at 6 p.m. at Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place. The parade and meeting are open to the public.

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