Orland Park's Tom Dubelbeis Named Illinois Bicentennial Honor 200 Honoree

Orland Park's Tom Dubelbeis Named Illinois Bicentennial Honor 200 Honoree
Posted on 10/30/2018
Orland Park's Tom Dubelbeis Named Illinois Bicentennial Honor 200 Honoree

Tom Dubelbeis, veterans' liaison for the Village of Orland Park Veterans Commission, has been added to an elite group.

Dubelbeis has been named an Illinois Bicentennial Honor 200 Honoree, being recognized for his contributions to his fellow veterans, service members and local community. He is one of 200 Illinois veterans to receive this honor during the state's Bicentennial Celebration.

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Illinois Bicentennial Office announced the recipients of Bicentennial HONOR 200 on October 24, honoring the work of 200 veterans who continue to make extraordinary contributions to the people of Illinois.

"America is the greatest nation on earth because of the sacrifice of our veterans," said Governor Bruce Rauner. "We are proud to honor these 200 men and women as part of our Bicentennial Celebration. Their service didn't stop when they took off their uniforms. They continue to be heroes among us by going above and beyond the call of duty to take care of the people in their communities."

Dubelbeis was nominated by Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.

"Tom Dubelbeis began his service to our country in 1970 when he joined the US Army," Pekau said. "He has spent most of his life in service --- to our country, to the community, and most importantly to his beloved veterans."

In his nomination, the mayor listed Dubelbeis's years of community involvement that began in 1984 when he coached for the Orland Youth Association Girls' Program going onto serve as the group's president. Dubelbeis served on the village's Recreation Advisory Board from 1987 through 1991 when he was elected village trustee.

"The Bicentennial HONOR 200 campaign is one of the most important commemorations of the yearlong Bicentennial Celebration," said Stuart Layne, Executive Director of the Bicentennial Commission. "These 200 Illinois veterans truly make us Illinois Proud."

"I've known Tom Dubelbeis for almost 30 years," said Orland Park Trustee Jim Dodge, village board liaison to the Veterans Commission and a veteran of the US Army National Guard. "Tom is truly a veteran's veteran --- a great advocate for those who served our country."

In his letter to Dubelbeis, retired Brigadier General Stephen Curda, director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs, wrote, "The Honor 200 nominations were evaluated on the achievements and the contributions made by each honoree that have aided, benefitted and provided inspiration to your local communities and your fellow veterans."

Dubelbeis served as a village trustee for more than 10 years, retiring in August, 2001 to pursue a local business venture.

During his tenure as a trustee, Dubelbeis donated his $600 monthly stipend to local veterans' organizations, a domestic violence shelter and other not-for-profits. When he retired from the village board, Dubelbeis donated the $5000 from his campaign fund to the village's Veterans Commission and the Orland Historical Society for the creation of a veterans' museum.

"We are very proud of Orland Park's many veterans programs," said Village Manager Joe La Margo whose son currently serves with the U.S. Navy. "Being named among 200 veterans statewide is a great honor for Tom Dubelbeis. We congratulate him and thank him for all that he does for veterans."

Dubelbeis chaired the village's veterans' commission from 2002 until 2010 returning in 2015 to serve as the group's veterans' liaison. During his time away from the commission, Dubelbeis worked with businesses to recycle electronics to raise funds for computer training for veterans.

"As the village's veterans' liaison, Tom has been instrumental in expanding many veterans' events, ceremonies and programs," the mayor said. "His lifetime of service to the United States, Orland Park and to all veterans reflects great credit upon himself, his family, the village and the State of Illinois."

The Honor 200 recipients represent more than 50 counties across the state of Illinois. Nominees were evaluated based on their achievements, and on the extent to which their contributions have aided, benefited and provided inspiration to their community at large. In addition, nominees must have received an honorable discharge from the U.S. military and reside in Illinois.

All of the Honor 200 recipients have been invited to attend the state's official 200th birthday celebration at the United Center in Chicago on December 3, 2018.

Illinois Bicentennial Honor 200 Honorees