WWII Vet Honored by House of Reps for Lifetime of Service and Leadership

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A World War II veteran was honored before the Illinois House of Representatives last week for his exemplary service to both his country and his community. 

WWII Vet, Vince Rolves, of Clinton County, Illinois was honored by State Representative Charlie Meier in Springfield, Illinois on Tuesday, November 12th as the House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 569 in homage to his sacrifice. 

According to Herald Publications, the Resolution states that “Wilbert Vincent ‘Vince’ Rolves, born to Frank and Anna (Smith) Rolves on February 23, 1924 in Albers and recently of Carlyle, is a United States Army veteran and Illinois native who has dedicated his life to the service of Illinoisans, first abroad, within the North African region of the European Theater of World War II, and then throughout Southern Illinois.”

Rolves was enlisted in the 45th Infantry Division and was deployed across the Atlantic. He was soon appointed as a sergeant before being shot, wounded, and captured by German forces. He endured 18 months as a Prisoner of War, where he was forced into hard labor and nearly starved in freezing conditions under threat of death.

Once back home, Rolves was honored with a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Prisoner of War Medal before marrying his late wife, Loretta, in Southern Illinois. There, he established an organization for former POWs in the area, sharing his experiences with students to help spread appreciation for America’s servicemen and women to the youth. 

In addition to his POW organization, Rolves also opened a trucking business before transitioning to a position as a government employee on the Scott Air Force Base, where he worked for 30 years. 

“Without our Veterans, our freedom wouldn’t be what it is today,” said Rep. Meier.

 “It doesn’t matter what is going on, Vince Rolves is always there to help his community. It was a privilege and honor to recognize Vince at the Illinois capitol. The sacrifice he made to protect and serve our country is something we must never forget.”

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