An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Aug. 10, 2022

Illinois Air Guard Civil Engineers help Cherokee Nation Veterans

By Master Sgt. Brian Ellison, 126th Air Refueling Wing

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Illinois Air National Guard troops are putting their skills to work in another nation, building homes for U.S. military veterans.

The 126th Civil Engineer Squadron is building homes for Cherokee Nation veterans in Oklahoma as part of a continuing Innovative Readiness Training project.

“This is a good opportunity for military personnel to assist the Cherokee Nation,” U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Larry Myers, the 126th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuel systems maintenance team lead.

The training is a chance for service members to get hands-on experience and provide community partners across the U.S. with much-needed assistance.

“This is really cool,” Senior Airman Jacob Mellenthin said. “I finally get to do the job I trained for; I am getting a lot of good training.”

The 126th is not working on these houses alone; they have members from the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 301st Civil Engineer Squadron, Carswell Field, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas.

During their two weeks, the squadrons plan to get two roofing tresses in place and windows and doors installed. In other houses, teams are running electricity, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

The water and fuels systems maintenance team is also installing pipes, sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and showers.

Maj. Matthew Boice, the 126th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, was more than satisfied with the progress being made.

“I always take pride in the squadron’s ability to exceed expectations,” Boice said.

This Innovative Readiness Training mission to build houses for Cherokee Nation veterans started in April 2021. 



Related Articles
Members of the 126th Air Refueling Wing stand with Polish Air Force counterparts after touring the 33rd Air Base maintenance facility March 25, 2024, in Powidz, Poland. The Illinois Air National Guard wing visited Poland as a part of the State  Partnership Program.
Illinois Air Guard Supports Partner Poland
By Master Sgt. Brian Ellison, | April 10, 2024
POWIDZ, Poland - The 126th Air Refueling Wing completed a two-week deployment to Poland in support of Operation Copper Arrow.The operation enhanced combat readiness among NATO allies and partner nations, enabling them to...

Approximately 100 Soldiers from the 1430th Engineer Company, 107th Engineer Battalion, Michigan National Guard, conducted multiple engineering projects at Otsego Lake State Park and Young State Park in June 2022. The Michigan National Guard and Michigan Department of Natural Resources will work together again to improve state park facilities beginning in spring 2024.
Michigan National Guard to Help Improve State Parks
By Capt. Trevor Kay and Capt. Cammy Alberts, | March 4, 2024
MARQUETTE, Mich. - The 107th Engineer Battalion of the Michigan Army National Guard is joining forces with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to improve state parks.This initiative, which begins this spring, will...

A medic from the 134th Ambulance Company out of Johnston, Iowa, checks the blood pressure of a veteran at the Five Seasons Stand Down resource fair in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sept. 7, 2023. The medics provided care for veterans and others experiencing homelessness.
Iowa National Guard Medics Care for Homeless Veterans
By Sgt. 1st Class Jason Everett, | Oct. 12, 2023
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - “Give me strength to lead by caring.” It’s a line of the time-honored Army Combat medic prayer that encapsulates what’s often most endearing about the combat medic. They train hard to be experts in their...