SPRINGFIELD (AP) — State officials are marking the 290th birthday of the Illinois National Guard.
Gov. Pat Quinn in a statement Thursday says Illinois men and women have answered the call of duty here and overseas.
There are about 13,000 Illinois National Guard soldiers and airmen serving over 50 bases and training facilities statewide.
The state's National Guard started on May 9, 1723. That's according to historians who researched the diary of French territorial captain Diron Dartaguiette. According to the diary that was the day that armed villagers first gathered and drilled.
Guard members have served in every major U.S. conflict and conducted peacekeeping missions around the world, including in Egpyt.