George Pradel served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps with pride, but it was later in life as mayor of Naperville where he used that pride to support others who had served as well.
“He reached out to a lot of organizations but he really loved wearing his marine stuff, he loved being in that Memorial Day parade, he loved being in every parade. He was that kind of guy. The fact of the matter is is his relationship with other veterans was phenomenal,” explained Pat Bowler, a past president of Naperville Responds for Veterans.
Pradel made connections with dozens of local organizations, but the ones made at the Judd Kendall VFW and Naperville Responds For Veterans were particularly special.
“He would always call me on the phone and go ‘Bowler!’ and I’d say “yeah Mayor Pradel I’m here, I’m standing at attention,'” said Bowler. “Him being a veteran, right away when we put the organization together he said ‘I want in.’ So he was one of our founding members, he was on our board of directors. He helped us put this thing together. And over the last nine years we’ve built an unbelievable organization that helps veterans in need.”
Pradel was a founding board member of the organization and remained a key part of it until his death. He is now remembered as an honorary member.
But that wasn’t his only accolade as a vet. In 2017, the Rotary Club of Naperville wrapped him in a quilt of valor, honoring his service to our country and our community.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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