Welcome to the AFFI Honor Guard
Providing honorable services for fallen AFFI members.
Honor Guard Oath
Written by Thomas J. Matousek Jr. Forest Park Local #2753
TO HONOR, TO CHERISH, TO REMEMBER, TO SALUTE, WITH OVERWHELMING PRIDE FOR YOU, MY COMRADE I WILL.
Here's what's new:
2016 Daniel J. Bower Commitment To Excellence Award was awarded to Charter Member & Former State Commander Thomas J. Matousek.
Watch for events.
Click HERE to view our upcoming events for the year.
AFFI Honor Guard Convention January 27-29, 2017
May 9, 2017 Medal of Honor Ceremony, Springfield
IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Colorado Springs, CO September 14-16, 2017
The Mission of the AFFI Honor Guard shall be to Promote the Associated Firefighters of Illinois, the Locals therein, and the fire service as a whole, to the public, in a positive and proper fashion. To Provide, as a line of duty death benefit, dignified, honorable services for fallen AFFI members, their surviving family members, and union brothers and sisters through organization of and participation in funeral and memorial services.
AFFI Honor Guard Oath: The AFFI Honor Guard Oath was written by former State Commander Thomas J. Matousek Jr., a retired member of Forest Park Local #2753. He was asked by the Honor Guards first State Commander Jay Bishop of Springfield Local #37 to come up with an Oath for the Honor Guard. The Oath is memorized by each and every Honor Guard Member who swears to uphold the traditions which are exemplified by the words written in this oath.
TO HONOR, TO CHERISH, TO REMEMBER, TO SALUTE, WITH OVERWHELMING PRIDE FOR YOU, MY COMRADE I WILL: These are the words that help guide each Member of the AFFI Honor Guard as they train, teach, and finally assist in services for our fallen Comrades.
23rd Annual IL Fallen FF Memorial & Medal of Honor Ceremony
The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois Honor Guard was present to honor 4 families who's loved ones were honored in Springfield on May 10, 2016. The Duty Death Gold Badge is an award of Honor given to the family of a firefighter deceased in, or as a result of, the performance of duty. Those Honorees were:
Firefighter/Paramdeic Daniel V. Capuano, Chicago Fire Department
Firefighter/Paramedic Fidel G. Serrano Jr. Chicago Fire Department (2012)
Firefighter/Paramedic Mark A. Zielinski, Sr., Matteson Fire Department
Chief Kenneth J. Lehr, Mendora Fire Protection District
Congratulations also go out to all of those who were honored for going above and beyond in their call of duty, as they were honored at the Medal of Honor Ceremony as well. A huge thank you to the Girl Scouts, who have joined us to honor these families today.
AFFI Honor Guard By-Laws Updated
The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois Honor Guard 2015 By-Laws. Click Here to read the PDF file to read the By-Laws. These By-Laws are like the Guidelines, in that they are an evolving document. Just as the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, and each Local have their own governing By-Laws, so does the AFFI Honor Guard. Changes to this document can only be made by a motion at the Honor Guard Convention, and voted on by active members during open meeting times. These rules are the same as any IAFF or AFFI Convention.
2016 AFFI Honor Guard Convention Recap
On January 29rd- 31th, AFFI members gathered at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles for the 24th Annual AFFI Honor Guard Convention & Induction Ceremony. AFFI HG District 6, Algonquin L3985 hosted this year’s event. Our sincere thanks and appreciation goes out to Convention Chairman Matt Berg, Convention Members and volunteers for all their time and planning to host a great event. We had 76 new inductee’s take the oath to Honor, Cherish, Remember and to do “Whatever It Takes” in front of close to 800 guests.
AFFI President Pat DeVaney, Fire Engineering's Chief Bobby Halton, 5th District AFFI VP Steven Horne
Photo by Tim Olk.
This years Honored Guest was Editor in Chief of Fire Engineering Magazine Bobby Halton. Chief Halton was an energetic speaker who gave a rousing speech about the definition of Honor Above All Else or in Latin, honore supra omnes and the relation to the fire service. He spoke of the Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler incident occurred on 20 December 1943, when, after a successful bomb run on Bremen, Charles 'Charlie' Brown's B-17 Flying Fortress (named "Ye Olde Pub") was severely damaged by German fighters. Luftwaffe ace Franz Stigler had the opportunity to shoot down the crippled bomber, but instead, for humane reasons, decided to allow the crew to fly back to their airfield in England. He had met and heard their story prior to their passing.
As a tradition in honoring our fallen Brothers & Sisters from the previous year, a black ribbon was tied into the Honor Guard flag in memory of Russell L. Chism, Urbana L-1147, Mark Zielinski, Sr., Matteson L-3086, Victor H. Youngberg, West Chicago L-3970, Daniel V. Capuano, Chicago L-2, who lost their lives in 2015 (Victor H. Youngberg 2013). May their memory live on forever in our hearts. A gold ribbon was tied honoring all IAFF members who died in the line of duty.
Commander Jeff Bruno & Northern District Commander Jay Coburn holding the AFFI Honor Guard Flag.
Photo by Tim Olk.
In 2013, the Honor Guard created a new award, the AFFI Honor Guard Commitment To Excellence Award for commitment & dedication above and beyond. An individual who lives the motto “Whatever It Takes” and realizes the purpose of the Honor Guard is bigger than any one individual. An individual that embodies the selfless spirit of the Honor Guard Family. That award was presented to Dist. 7 Commander Daniel J. Bower, Freeport L-441. Brother Bower died November 12, 2013 due to complications with cancer.
In 2014, The Command Staff unanimously decided to rename and dedicate the award in the memory of our fallen Brother. This year the AFFI Honor Guard Daniel J. Bower Commitment To Excellence Award was presented to Charter Member and former AFFI Honor Guard Commander Thomas J. Matousek., for his many years of loyal and dedicated service in honoring our fallen comrades. Tom is truly a role model for all of us to follow in doing “Whatever It Takes”.
The AFFI Honor Guard is close to 700 members strong, consisting of dedicated members that continuously train throughout the year, with the commitment to Honor, Cherish, Remember our Brothers & Sisters when they make the ultimate sacrifice. We will continue to be there for you in your time of need.
Jeff H. Bruno, State Commander
2nd Generation AFFI Honor Guard Families
In the AFFI Honor Guard, the Annual Induction Ceremony/Convention weekend is often referred to as a family reunion. In this special group of firefighters there is that extra bond of carrying out the important duty To Honor, To Cherish, To Remember, To Salute with overwhelming pride for our fallen comrades, whatever it takes. This weekend, that family reunion became a bit more true. There are now currently three families that hold 2 generations of firefighters in the AFFI Honor Guard. The following photo was taken of them:
Jeff Jossendal- Dekalb, L1236 and daughter Courtney Jossendal- Carbondale, L1961. Center, Jay Coburn-Matteson, L3086 and son CJ Coburn- Matteson, L3086. On the right, Terrence Michael Harty- Chicago, L2 and daughter Taryn Rydzon- Chicago, L2.
Founding AFFI Honor Guard Commander Jay Bishop, Current
AFFI Honor Guard Commander Jeff Bruno,
& past AFFI Honor Guard State Commander Thomas J. Matousek at the 2016 AFFI Honor Guard Convention.
Lt. Brian Kimpel Surprise at 2016 Convention
US Navy Sailor Brandon Kimpel had just completed Recruit Training Command on September 25th and Great Lakes Naval Training Facility and was detailed to Witichita Falls, TX for Tech Shool, in which he completed his training to become a Navy Seabee. Upon compelting Tech School, Brandon was to be deployed to to the Island of Crete in Greece for the next year. Brandon graduated Seabee School on January 28th and wanted to surpirse Brian at the Convention. Brandon flew in Saturday morning and arrived at the Convention at 11am where we hid him out in a hotel room until the induction dinner. Brian's wife Heather was the only one in the family that knew he was coming so it was also a surprise to the rest of the family in attendenance. Brandon remained home for 2 weeks before shipping out for his deployment.
Brandon Kimpel, Lexi Kimpel, Heather Kimpel, Jace Langhuth, and Lt. Brian Kimpel.
This is a reminder that if you will need to complete 3 required trainings (One can be Convention), prior to October 31, 2016 in order to qualify to go to Convention in 2017. Please go to the Districts page to see upcoming drills in your area to meet your required trainings for the year. If there are any questions as to what these requirements are, please refer to the By-Laws. Remember, you can always attend another District's Drill location if it is closer to your home.
2016 AFFI Daniel J. Bower Commitment To Excellence Award
AFFI Honor Guard Daniel J. Bower Commitment To Excellence Award was presented to Charter Member and former AFFI Honor Guard Commander Thomas J. Matousek., for his many years of loyal and dedicated service in honoring our fallen comrades. Tom is truly a role model for all of us to follow in doing “Whatever It Takes”.
Photo's are available from the 2016 Honor Guard Convention
Here is the link to view and order photo's from the 24th AFFI Honor Guard Convention.
Thanks again to Stephan Bates for taking photo's at the convention again this year. Here is his information:
2015 IAFF Fallen FF Memorial
Friends, co-workers and family members arrived in droves on buses, in vans and a thundering caravan of motorcycles in the northwest corner of Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to honor all of the IAFF members who have perished in the line of duty since 1918, the year of the International’s original charter.
The crowd of more than 6,000 stretched up the park’s sloping hill, sat and stood facing the rebuilt Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial with Pikes Peak gracing the western horizon. The circular Family Band of the new memorial, with its foundation of repurposed granite walls from the previous Memorial, surrounded the families of those fallen in the past year.
The new Memorial, constructed over the past nine months, now includes the names of 7,352 IAFF members -- fire fighters and paramedics -- who have died in service to their communities since 1918.
“We have now placed all of our union’s fallen -- dating back to our founding -- in the memory of the living, by engraving these hallowed walls with the stories of their service and sacrifice, and by reading their names for all to hear to, memorializing them for eternity," General President Harold Schaitberger said.
The Memorial service included a recommissioning of the new Memorial and all of the traditional elements of past services, such as the posting of colors, the Honor Guard and pipe and drum, the laying of the Memorial wreath, the reading of names with a ringing of the bell, and a prayer from IAFF Chaplain Father Thomas A. Mulcrone.
The Mission of the AFFI Honor Guard shall be:
A. Promote the Associated Fire
Fighters of Illinois, the Locals therein, and
the fire service as a whole, to the public, in a positive and proper fashion.
B. Provide, as a line of duty death
benefit, dignified, honorable services for
fallen AFFI members, their surviving family members, and union brothers
and sisters through organization of and participation in funeral and
Please sign up on our Mailing List. Hopefully, this option will make notifications of LODD's much faster. This is a free service with a maximum of 500 subscribers, so please only sign up if you are a current Active AFFI Honor Guard Member. If you know members who are not subscribers, please e-mail or call them if a LODD notification comes to your e-mail. I will also send out notifications for events, parades, etc. You can also sign up to be on the AFFI Honor Guard mailing list on the AFFI web site when you register, just mark that you are an AFFI Honor Guard Member in the check boxes that are presented when you register. REMEMBER- if you change your e-mail address, to register again on this site, as your notifications will no longer be sent to your new address unless you have updated the information.
When a Line of Duty Death of any Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois Member occurs, this home page will be the place for finding information about line up, visitation, and/or funeral arrangements. Information is posted here as quickly and as accurately as possible. E-mails are also blasted to members on the above Newsletter list, as well as the AFFI blast e-mail system. Please keep in mind that although there may be a firefighter death, the AFFI Honor Guard is only activated when it is requested by the family. A request from that members Union President goes to AFFI President Pat Devaney, who then activates the AFFI Honor Guard through State Commander Bruno.