Honoring Our Heroes


American Legion Riders from Post # 57, Elgin, Illinois

American Legion Riders chapters are well known for their charitable work, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support local children’s hospitals, schools, Veterans homes, severely wounded service members as well as award scholarships. Since 2006, Riders nationwide have participated in The American Legion Legacy Run to annually raise money for the Legacy Scholarship Fund, established to provide scholarships to children of U.S. military personnel killed since Sept. 11, 2001.

Currently, over 110,000 American Legion Riders meet in over 2,000 chapters in every domestic department and in at least three foreign countries. Riders in Iowa have formed an honor guard called The Five Star Freedom Riders, and Riders in Mulvane, Kansas, founded the Patriot Guard to protect the sanctity of military funerals from protesters. Riders in all states have escorted military units returning home from combat tours overseas, conducted massive cross-country fundraising events for wounded warriors from all services, and have raised millions of dollars for countless local, state and national charities. Many Riders, supported by their departments, conduct annual statewide Legacy Runs in direct support of American Legion scholarship programs of Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW), supporting our wounded service members across the nation.

Honoring Our Fallen Heroes for 2020-2021

Marcos L. Gudino

Sergeant Marcos L. Gudino, 30 of Elgin, Illinois died March 25, 2018, when his military ambulance crashed of which he was part of a convoy of vehicles returning from weekend training at Fort McCoy Wisconsin.

Gudino served as a medic in the Illinois National Guard Headquarters Co. based in Chicago
1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment

During his time in the Illinois National Guard he earned the Army Service Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.

He was born the son of Frank and Minerva Gudino.

Alex Martinez

Corporal Alex Martinez, 21, of Elgin, Ill., died April 5, 2012, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Martinez was assigned to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion
1st Marine Division
1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Corporal Alex Martinez was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a “V” for valor for his heroic actions and the Purple Heart.

He is survived by his widow, Julianna Martinez, to whom he was married four years.
He was born the son of Enrique Martinez and Sororro Bethke. Stepfather Jim Bethke.


Spc Ethan J Martin

Spc. Ethan J. Martin, 22 of Lewiston, Idaho, died August 7, 2012 in Koragay, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he encountered enemy small arms fire by ambush.
Martin was assigned to 1st Squadron, 40th Calvary.
Lt’s driver for Combat Platoon
140th Calvary Airborne
4th BDE
25th Infantry Division

Inspired by his desire to attend nursing school after he got out of the military, the Spc. Ethan J. Martin Scholarship Fund has been established to help others with similar aspirations.