ELMWOOD Ill. (WMBD) — Dozens gathered in Elmwood Town Square Friday afternoon to honor fallen Marine Benjamin Desilets.
Corporal Desilets graduated from Elmwood high school in 2004 and went on to graduate from Marine Corps Recruit Depot later that year. Following his graduation he was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and again in 2007. Corporal Desilets never came home from that tour. While returning from a mission when his vehicle hit an IED killing him.
“He had the biggest personality, when he would come home from the military he would give these hugs like literally lift you off the ground just so excited to see you. I just miss him a lot,” said Desilets’ sister Laura Lester.
He was awarded a Purple Heart, Navy, and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Medal.
Desilets’ sister Laura Lester said she was thrilled to be able to keep his memory alive.
“To have the post office obviously having his name where so many people are going to go by it every day means he’ll never be forgotten which means so much,” said Lester.
Congressman Darin LaHood introduced the legislation over a year ago. The bill was then passed and signed by President Biden to change the name of the post office.
” I was proud to pass the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to rename this post office here in Elmwood. And it’s a reminder that freedom is not free and that we live in the greatest country in the world because of the sacrifice of Corporal Desilets and so today is a day the community can come together to honor his service and pay tribute to him,” said LaHood.
The plaque dedicated to the fallen war hero is located at the entrance of the post office.