Tinley Park’s veterans plaza named for Pat Rea
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com September 19, 2012 3:12PM
Tinley Park Village Clerk Patrick Rea, a retired brigadier general in the Army Reserve, recites the Pledge of Allegiance Wednesday during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. in August. | AP file photo
Legion contributes to memorial
American Legion Post 615 presented the Tinley Park Village Board with a $5,000 check Tuesday night for a bench that will be part of the village’s new veterans memorial near the 80th Avenue Metra station.
Post Cmdr. Bob Shaffner presented the check to the board.
“One of the great things about the veterans in Tinley Park is their support of the country. They’ve done a lot of great things,” village Trustee Dave Seaman said.
The veterans plaza will be dedicated with a ceremony at 10 a.m. Nov. 11, deputy village clerk Laura Godette said Wednesday.
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:43PM
The veterans plaza being built outside Tinley Park’s 80th Avenue Metra train station will be dedicated to village trustee Pat Rea, a retired Brigadier General with the Army.
Rea, who was not available for comment Wednesday, “is humbled” by the honor, deputy village clerk Laura Godette said.
Rea, 72, grew up in Tinley Park.
He was commissioned from the University of Illinois ROTC in 1963 and deployed to Vietnam shortly thereafter.
He served in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966. After the war, he started his corporate and governmental career.
He became a village of Tinley Park commissioner in 1968 while serving in the active and reserve forces of the Army.
Rea served as an Assistant Division Commander and Acting Commander of the 85th Division, commanding at every level from platoon to brigade during his 30 years of military service. Having served throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, he received the 2004 Secretary of Defense Medal of Outstanding Public Service Award.
Rea became a Tinley Park village trustee in 1971 and served in that role until 2009, when he became the village clerk.
Over the years, he’s been an advocate and supporter of veterans and is credited with the creation of the Village’s Veterans Commission in 1974.
Trustee Dave Seaman, the board’s liaison to the veterans commission, said Rea “has been a friend and mentor to many of us who have served in the military and in government.”
“This dedication is an appropriate and fitting honor to recognize his outstanding service to community and country,” Seaman said.
Mayor Ed Zabrocki added, “Patrick E. Rea is an iconic representative of Tinley Park and its veterans. Through the years, many principles were implemented at his urging and these principles have been adopted and implemented not only in Tinley Park, but also throughout the region.”
In August, Rea, a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, had the pleasure of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
“His patriotic spirit has been a premier example of patriotism in our village and throughout the world. In many ways, Patrick can be considered a modern renaissance man, a man for all seasons,” Zabrocki said.