NORMAL - The annual Rob Hardesty Salute to America Program has named its honorees, which include local police officers, firefighters and soldiers.
The awards were announced June 16 at the Epiphany Catholic Church carnival. The award was renamed in 2005 in honor of FBI Special Agent Rob Hardesty, who died of injuries suffered during a training exercise.
His wife, Toni Hardesty of Normal, presented the awards to:
- U.S. Army National Guard Master Sgt. Matthew Feit, who has served for more than 17 years and is in Iraq;
- U.S. Army National Guard 2nd Class Warrant Officer Chris Drozs, who has served for more than 17 years and is in Iraq;
- U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Mark O'Loughlin, who is in Iraq and has served for more than 20 years;
- Bloomington Fire Department Engineer Gene Berkley, who has returned from Iraq after a tour with the Illinois National Guard. He has been a member of the fire department for more than 20 years;
- McLean County Sheriff's Department Deputy Jon Hofmann, who has been with the department for three years. Last year, the off-duty officer responded to an emergency medical call and saved the victim's life. He is deployed in Iraq with the U.S. Army;
- U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Casey Peel;
- U.S. Navy Chief Eric Holmquist;
- And U.S. Army Specialist Brad Nauman.