PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois Army National Guard on Friday opened its new East Peoria recruiting center, celebrating with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and catered meals from Mission BBQ.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Congressman Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), East Peoria Mayor John Kahl, Pekin Mayor and State Rep. Mark Luft (R-Pekin), and leaders from the Illinois Army National Guard.
“It’s great for our community, attracting people to the military… We got to remember, we live in the greatest country in the world because of our military and because of our National Guardsmen,” said LaHood.
First Sgt. Holly Donald, who has been part of the Army for almost three decades and the National Guard for 20 years, will be running the center.
“Hopefully we can get more exposure, usually we are in our armories and people don’t even know how to come see us, and now they can just pull up walk in and see what we’re about,” she said.
Donald said the National Guard is a part-time job with full-time benefits. Officers are required to work one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer.
“You can have a full-time job and be part of the National Guard… If you’re looking for a way to help finance your education, if you’re looking for a way to get some free training on the hundreds of different jobs we have, come see us. See what we’re all about,” she said.
The recruiting office is located at 827 Camp St. at Camp Street Crossing in East Peoria.