STREATOR - Army National Guard 1st Lt. William R. Gaefcke has been decorated with the Army Achievement Medal for supporting the mission of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The medal is awarded to soldiers who have served in any capacity in an area authorized by the Secretary of the Army. The recipients must have distinguished themselves by meritorious service or achievement while acting on behalf of the Army.

Gaefcke, who also serves at Ladd chief of police, is a police combat mentor and trainer with the 135th Chemical Company in Machesney Park, and has served in the military for 14 years. He received the medal for actions from March 7 to March 31, when he uncovered the largest weapons and ammunition cache while on a police mentor training mission in Kabul, Afghanistan.

He also received the Combat Action Badge for his actions in a hostile fire zone in support of Afghanistan's presidential elections, when he led his team in a tactical engagement during 90 minutes of constant enemy fire in Kabul.

He is the son of William and Il Chong Gaefcke of West Frech Street, Streator.

The lieutenant is a 1996 graduate of Streator Township High School, and received an associate degree in 2000 from Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby. He earned a bachelor's degree in 2005 from Illinois State University, Normal.

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