For Immediate Release:
Contact: Erin Gallagher, 815-641-7760
Medal of Honor, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart
Veterans Join Stop NorthPoint Plaintiffs
Highly decorated veterans and their families among 35 plaintiffs in lawsuit against Joliet.
Veteran heroes, including a foundation named for a Medal of Honor recipient, along with Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and World War II veterans and their families have joined a new fight to protect the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery against Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and Joliet’s intent to build warehouses all around the cemetery.
“No American would countenance the building of an industrial park next to Arlington National Cemetery,” said Medal of Honor recipient Allen Lynch, the only living Medal of Honor recipient in Illinois. “This is no different. We have joined this suit via the Allen Lynch Medal of Honor Foundation because we have one, singular constituency: our living and fallen comrades. We consider this final resting place as sacred, inviolable and worthy of our efforts to mitigate it being defiled as it has been. It doesn’t matter if it’s Arlington or Abraham Lincoln, they are the same.”
Last April, the Joliet City Council passed a vote to pre-approve the building of a trucking warehouse park five times the size of Midway Airport adjacent to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery and Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie where a bison herd roams. On Tuesday, Joliet City Council is expected to vote on final approval of the monstrous industrial park despite numerous lawsuits from Stop NorthPoint LLC, neighboring Village of Elwood, Sierra Club and Openlands.
Stop NorthPoint LLC is an all-volunteer grassroots group of Will County residents organized specifically with the intent of securing a permanent halt to NorthPoint’s trucking warehouses in a court of law. The legal fund is crowd-funded with the average contributor $75 to $125.
“Stop NorthPoint’s complaint asks a court to consider the health, welfare and safety of the residents of Joliet and surrounding region,” said civil rights powerhouse attorney Bob Fioretti. Fioretti and his team of attorneys and consultants represent Stop NorthPoint LLC. A more than 200-page complaint was filed in Will County Court in October.
The Lynch Foundation was originally formed to provide funding to needy veterans and their families in order to assist in their recovery from financial hardships. The board, which includes many notable veterans and others, unanimously voted to join Stop NorthPoint’s lawsuit.
“Our military, regardless of branch, accepts a bond will all brothers and sisters on the first day of service,” continued Lynch. “When we say we leave no many behind, it’s not a slogan, nor does it ever expire. We–and the cities of Joliet and Elwood — owe them this accommodation.”
With 35 plaintiffs in total, these are veteran heroes:
- WWII B-17 Radioman Ted Micci, 25 missions Joliet resident, along with his daughter, Jeri Micci Jones.
- The Allen J Lynch Medal of Honor Veterans Foundation
- Robert Pillion, born and raised in Joliet, graduated West High School, Silver Star and Bronze Star recipeint, 35 years in the service, flew helicopters in Vietnam and flew cover for George HW Bush.
- Native American Michael Pamonicutt, a Vietnam Veteran himself, Gold Star Family whose brother died in Vietnam. He is with the Veterans of the Menominee Nation.
- Kevin Pomykala, commander of Joliet Stone City Post, U.S. Navy retired.
- Skip Hoechbauer, served in Vietnam, Chaplin of Stone City Post.
- John Waker, Purple Heart Veteran, a “tunnel rat” in Vietnam, a volunteer Honor Guard member at the national cemetery
- Gus Baseleon — well decorated helicopter medic in Vietnam, volunteer at the national cemetery and Legion member, whose wife is buried at the national cemetery
- Brothers Alejandro “Al” and Willard Gutierriez, both who served. Willard was with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam and is a three time Bronze Star recipient, one with the V device for Valor, and one Oak Leaf Cluster.
- Barbara Whitfield’s husband, Dennis, served two tours in Vietnam, died of Agent Orange and is buried at the national cemetery
- Jimmy and Kathleen Walsh — Jim served in the US Army, and Kathy’s dad is at the national cemetery
- Brian Podest— US Navy, member of Manhattan Legion, his wife is at the national cemetery
- John Lenner was as long time member of the Joliet Legion, a Vietnam Veteran, now buried at the national cemetery — his son, John Jr is a plaintiff.
- John Vallrugo, lifelong Joliet resident, served in US Army during the Cold War between Korea and Vietnam.
- Ron Adamski, U.S. Navy veteran, and co-founder of Stop NorthPoint LLC
Stop NorthPoint LLC is an all-volunteer grassroots group organized exclusively to raise funds for the legal fund with every intent of prevailing. Stop NorthPoint’s average contributor ranges about $75-$125. Contributions can be made electronically at StopNorthPoint.com, or at any BMO Harris Bank.