Hometown Hero continues service to others

Published 08/22 2013 12:57PM

Updated 08/22 2013 01:00PM

SPRINGFIELD -- A Hometown Hero helps veteran organizations keep going to help vets and their families. After decades of service, she's finally getting the credit she deserves.

Each month the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs honors a service member. This month, an area woman got the award. She was honored at the State Fair. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield introduces us to Linda Crites.

Crites wears many hats. She's a mom, veteran and volunteer.

"Being able to serve your country is a great experience and it helps you grow up and be responsible."

Each year, she runs the beer tent at the Illinois State Fair. It's just one of the many things she does for veterans in Sangamon County. She says the spirit of helping others is something she learned while serving.

"The people I met encouraged me. When I go home, join a military organization, and involve your families in that."

In the 80's, Crites joined the U.S. Navy because she needed a second job. She ended up serving during Desert Storm and later in Iraq. Her job was to move cargo.

"We moved troops, we moved cargo, we moved mail, we moved blood; everything you could think possible. That was our job."

Crites retired after 22-years, but never stopped moving. She's involved in countless organizations and was awarded Veteran of Month by the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs.

"To be rewarded for that is really hard to accept. People say you deserve it, but that's what we are supposed to so. We are supposed to give back."

Crites says balancing work and family, a lot of military women don't give back, but she hopes to change that by being an example.

"To give back is so beneficial to your community. It's just a little piece of your time."

Crites was also the Grand Marshal of the Veterans Day Parade at the fair.

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