PINCKNEYVILLE, IL (KFVS) - A local veteran was honored Wednesday in Pickneyville for his service during both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Jeremy O’Dell stood patiently in front of his family and friends while he waited to be awarded his six medals from U.S. Congressman Bill Enyart.
It was a day he has been waiting for since 2007.
“It has been a long time coming,” said O'Dell.
O’dell enlisted in the U.S. Army reserve in August of 2000.
In January of 2003, he was activated to serve in the Army where he was stationed in Iraq for more than five years.
It was during that time his family says was the hardest.
“I always worried about him, I was always glad to hear from him,” said Helen O'Dell, Jeremy's mom.
As Congressman Enyart read off his awards, including the national defense service medal, his mother couldn't hold on to her emotions.
“I’m really proud of him. He has been a good son; he has helped me through a lot of things,” she said.
Congressman Enyart served as a commanding general in the National Guard. He says being part of these ceremonies is one of the best parts of his job.
“I get to recognize a great young soldier who gave up part of his life to defend our nation,” said Congressman Enyart.
O'Dell was also awarded the national defense service medal, an award given to those who serve during September 11, 2001.