Dr. Arie Friedman

United States Navy | 1999-2005

Dr. Arie Friedman served in the United States Navy as a helicopter pilot. During his seven years of active duty, he flew SH-60B Seahawk helicopters out of Naval Air Station North Island, California, from which he deployed twice, including once to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Storm. Upon completing his fleet tour, he returned to Pensacola, Florida, as a military Instructor Pilot teaching advanced helicopter operations and tactics. During the span of his naval aviation career, he conducted 406 shipboard landings including 183 at night.

After leaving active duty, he transferred to the Naval Reserve Medical Corps from which he retired in 2005 practices general pediatrics in the northern suburbs of Chicago and holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern Medical School. In addition, he is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

Friedman received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, graduated at the top of his medical school class in 1998 from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Subsequently, he underwent categorical residency training at the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital.


Erica Jeffries

United States Army

Following her graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Erica Jeffries served as an active duty Army aviation officer. She was a platoon leader and an Executive Officer in an Aviation battalion as a UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter pilot, and later as the Assistant Secretary of the General Staff (ASGS) for all of III Corps and Fort Hood, one of the Army’s largest installations. Ms. Jeffries was medically retired in 2003. Erica Jeffries was named as the Director of Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs by Governor Bruce Rauner on Jan. 16, 2015, and was confirmed on March 19 by the Illinois State Senate. An Army veteran, Jeffries comes to the IDVA with over fifteen years of corporate, government, and military experience.


Bruce Johnson

United States Marine Corps | 1983-2011

Chief Warrant Officer Bruce Johnson retired from the United States Marine Corps after more than 28 years of active and reserve service. He last deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011 with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO International Security Assistance Force Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Marine Corps Meritorious Unit Commendation, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, as well as numerous Certificates of Commendation, and Letters of Appreciation.

Chief Warrant Officer Bruce Johnson retired from the United States Marine Corps after more than 28 years of active and reserve service. Meritoriously promoted after boot camp he reported to Marine Air Control Group-48, Marine Wing Communications Squadron-48 and spent one half of his Marine Corps career enlisted, promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant E-7 serving in many capacities and assignments to include Acting First Sergeant, Technical Control Chief, and Systems Control Chief. He was selected for both Master Sergeant and Warrant Officer simultaneously and was commissioned as a Chief Warrant Officer in 1998. He served as a Platoon Commander with MWCS-48 and also as a Mobilization Training Unit Officer in Charge for the 9th Marine Corps Recruiting District, Western Recruiting Region, Marine Corps Recruiting Command before deploying to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011 with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward attached to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), Helmand Province. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO International Security Assistance Force Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Marine Corps Meritorious Unit Commendation, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, as well as numerous Certificates of Commendation, and Letters of Appreciation. He is accompanied by his wife DEEDEE daughter Jacey family and friends.


Felicia Pace

United States Army Reserve

Felicia Pace has served 25 years in the Army Reserve and deployed three times throughout that period. Her deployments include (Afghanistan 2003-2004, Iraq 2008-2009, and Afghanistan 2011-2012). Additionally she was deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom in 1997. Pace is currently a 1SG and holds the position of a Military Police Soldier.


Dr. Carla S. Roberson

United States Air Force | 1993-1996

Dr. Carla S. Roberson is a United States Air Force Veteran who served during Operation Desert Shield Desert Storm (1993-1996) as an Emergency Medical Technician. Injured while on active duty, she became fully medically retired during her first enlistment. However, Dr. Roberson did not allow that to hinder her passion for serving fellow veterans. Currently, she works full-time for the Federal Government for the United Sates Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Roberson has also dedicated her life to veteran philanthropy. She is an active member of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 17 in Hammond, Indiana, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 311 in Richton Park, IL., and the National Women Veterans United Organization located in Chicago, IL.In 2013 she founded Julia’s Fishes and Loaves non-profit organization. Julia’s Fishes and Loaves (JFL) functions as a mobile veteran food pantry. JFL provides non-perishable food items and resources to veterans in the Greater Chicagoland Area. Dr. Roberson’s life’s mantra are the words of President Abraham Lincoln who stated, ” Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”


Bill Petrisko

United States Navy | 1944-1946

Bill volunteered to enlist in the U. S. Navy at age 17 with parental consent. He served basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. After boot camp, he was transferred to Norfolk Training Station where he was assigned to the USS Steady. While in Okinawa preforming anti-aircraft protection and submarine control, the US had dropped a bomb on both Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Six months after ceasefire/Japan’s formal surrender, Minesweeper Division 9 (of which Bill was a part of) spent five months clearing the East China Sea of 1,000 watermines. Bill, in the Navy, had returned to the US in February of 1946 at Port of St. Pedro, CA. The ship was decommissioned in May and Bill was sent back to the Great Lakes Naval Station. He was Honorably Discharged and returned home to Chicago to begin civilian life. Bill was awarded 3 US Navy Military Campaign Ribbons and 2 Engagement- Battle Stars.


Trish McGill

Trish formerly served as the General Counsel and Ethics Officer for the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. She joined the State of Illinois after serving as a Senior Policy Advisor to the US Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Prior to that, she was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Chief Defense Counsel for the Office of Military Commissions working on Guantanamo Bay detainee litigation.

Before attending law school at DePaul University College of Law, Trish served six years in the Army as a Counterintelligence Special Agent and Russian linguist. She is currently an attorney in the government affairs department at United Airlines.


Letitia Parrillo

United States Navy | 1990-1999

Letitia was a registered nurse in the Navy Reserves Services for military and reserved a National service medal during first desert storm. She went to the Naval hospital great lakes for deployment. It was a goal of of hers.


Courtney Kittrell

United States Army | Active

Senior Chief Kittrell is currently working at the Navy’s only Bootcamp as a Recruit Division Commander. It’s her responsibility to turn civilians into basically trained, physically fit, smartly disciplined Sailors in only eight short weeks. Before coming to Great Lakes, Senior Chief Kittrell was the Production Control Chief aboard the aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) where she led 305 Sailors and Marines in support of the air wing. Under her direction, 28,000 maintenance actions allowed for a 97-percent combat mission completion rate during Operation Enduring Freedom.


Latricia Robinson

United States Navy | Active

Senior Chief Robinson is currently working at the Navy’s only Bootcamp as a Recruit Division Commander. It’s her responsibility to turn civilians into basically trained, physically fit, smartly disciplined Sailors in only eight short weeks. She also served as the command’s career counselor where she advised 1,030 Sailors on retention, education and career information. She is currently serving as a Ship’s Leading Chief Petty Officer and is responsible for one of Recruit Training Command’s self-contained training facilities including barracks, classrooms, office space and galley operations. She manages approximately fifty Recruit Division Commanders and over 1,000 recruits in various stages of basic training. Prior to reporting to Great Lakes, Senior Chief Robinson was assigned to Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4) on Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Oahu, which is tasked to undertake maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions flying the Lockheed P-3 Orion. Senior Chief Robinson managed the command’s $6M travel budget across five sites in the SIXTH Fleet area of responsibility. Senior Chief holds both the Air Warfare and Surface Warfare qualifications and is an avid volunteer in her community.


Brian Bardsley

United States Marine Corps | 1988-1994

Brian Bardsley began his career in the United States Marine Corps from 1988 – 1994 including deployments in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope. In 2006-2007, Brian completed a year tour in Iraq with the Illinois Army National Guard where he served as a medic with a rifle company in Baghdad and was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Medical Badge.

He served as a Medical Specialist in the United States Army Reserves from 1996 to 1999 and has been a Paramedic since January 1999. He has worked as a single role Paramedic, Firefighter/Paramedic, HazMat Technician, Arson Investigator, and Lieutenant with several municipal fire departments including the Stone Park Fire Department. He served for a year as a single role paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department.

Brian has been with the Chicago Police Department since September 2004. He started as a patrolman in District 015, and upon his return from Iraq was moved to the Education and Training Division where he worked as an Anti-Terrorism instructor, as well as a marksmanship and tactics instructor. He is currently attached to the SWAT Team as the Team Leader of the Medical Section and Emergency Medical Services coordinator.


George Klein

United States Army

George Klein was a WWII Army Ranger – in the Fox Company in the 2nd Ranger Battalliion. He Stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day on June 6th 1944 at Ponte Du Hac. They climed a 225 foot cliff. When they landed, there were 225 men – two days later at the end of the battle there were only 90, among which Mr. Klien was one. There were no Army Rangers before WWII. George Klein is truly a piece of American History – and an American hero.


Jodi L. Allen

United States Navy

Command Master Chief (Aviation Warfare) (USN, RET)

CMC(AW) USN, (RET) entered the Delayed Entry Program in July 1986 and completed Basic Training at Recruit Training Command Orlando, Florida and retired November 2009 at Naval Station, Great Lakes, IL. She served as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate for 20 years.

Her duty assignments were: Helicopter Antisubmarine Warfare Light 35 San Diego, CA; Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 1, San Diego, CA; Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron 1, Barbers Point, HI; Naval Air Technical Training Center, Millington, TN and Pensacola, FL; Strike Fighter Squadron 136, NAS Oceana, VA; Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, IL; CMC of Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, IL.

Command Master Chief Jodi Allen served during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars/Conflicts. She deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm, Enduring freedom and the Iraq Conflict.

She completed her Master of Science Degree in Aerospace & Aviation Education and Technology with a certificate in Instructional Systems Design at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Capella University in Instructional Design for Online Learning.

She is the Director of Food Service Operations at Goodwill SEW on the US Navy Base at Recruit Training Command and Naval Station Great Lakes, IL.

Her personal awards include Meritorious Service Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3), Navy good Conduct Medal (5), Civilian Meritorious Service Medal and various unit and campaign service awards.