Dedication, service takes chaplain to noble status
BY CHRIS CLAIR Daily Herald Staff
Robert McKillop will probably always
be known as the man who led the
charge to bring the Veterans Memorial
Band Shell to Lions Park.
But McKillop's service to Mount
Prospect and dedication to veterans
goes even beyond the popular band
In July, he was presented with the Air
Force Chaplain's Cross at a statewide
meeting of the American Legion. The
award honored McKillop's four years of
service as the local chaplain for the
American Legion and the Veterans of
Foreign Wars, and also for his
McKillop, 67, received the Hometown
Award from the village of Mount
Prospect earlier this year in large part
for his work on the band shell. He said
receiving the Chaplain's Cross humbled
"It gives me a sense of satisfaction, but
it's humbling," McKillop said.
As chaplain, McKillop counsels grieving
families, speaks at memorial services,
helps pick out caskets and fills out
He started acting as chaplain in 1996
after the previous chaplain died. Four
years later, McKillop is still involved.
"I just feel it's an obligation as an
American citizen and as one of the
veterans that came back in one piece,"
McKillop said. "It's an unselfish act, and
I will continue to do it until someone
else comes along and asks to step in."
McKillop was the only American
Legion chaplain from the Ninth District,
First Division to receive the Chaplain's
Cross at the state meeting. He was one
of only 15 out of more than 100
chaplains and 12,000 or 13,000
American Legion members.
In a letter to the district American
Legion commander, Thomas Johnson,
commander of the Mount Prospect
American Legion Post 525, said
McKillop had served the post with
dignity and honor.
"Our Post feels very proud and very
blessed that we have a Chaplain such
as Robert McKillop," Johnson wrote.