- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Soldiers with the Illinois National Guard’s 108th Sustainment Brigade and Polish diplomats have marked the 21-year anniversary of military cooperation.

A Wednesday statement from the national guard says the sides celebrated with recent events at a U.S. camp and the Polish Embassy in Kuwait. One of the events was an American-style barbeque.

The Illinois National Guard was paired with Poland in 1993 in the defense department’s State Partnership Program. One reason the Illinois force was matched with Polish soldiers was the large number of state residents who claim Polish heritage.

Among other things, the cooperation program is designed to help improve skills in military leadership, recruiting and homeland security. The sides have also deployed together in conflict areas, including in Iraq.

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