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Veterans Group Provides Update on Injured Oswego Trooper

Apr 03, 2014 05:02PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Operation Welcome You Home welcomed home State Trooper Doug Balder in June of 2013. Photo courtesy of Operation Welcome You Home.

Veterans group Operation Welcome You Home is well known throughout the Chicago area for providing returning soldiers a heroes welcome with parades of motorcycles and emergency services vehicles. 

Oswego's own U.S. Navy Senior Chief Douglas Balder received his own such welcome last summer. He had been on a tour of duty in Africa.

After returning, Balder went back to work as an Illinois State Trooper, but was critically injured Jan. 27 in an accident on I-88 near the Eola Road exit. 

The crash killed Tollway worker Vincent Petrella, 39, and left Balder with third-degree burns and many broken bones. Renato V. Velasquez, 46, of Hanover Park was charged with several felony counts in the crash. 

Balder and Petrella had stopped to help a truck driver before Velasquez allegedly drove his own semi into Balder's trooper vehicle, pushing it into Balder and Petrella.

Balder has been recovering ever since, and this week Operation Welcome You Home founder Donna Morsovillo had the opportunity to meet with Balder. She gave the following account of his recovery in an OWYH newsletter:

"(Donna) had the privilege of visiting with US Navy/IL State Trooper Doug Balder today.  

Doug was happy to see us and could not thank us enough for being there.  He is progressing, slowly, but progressing.

With all of the support from family and friends especially his pillar of strength, his beautiful wife Kim he can only continue to recover.  

We presented Doug with a beautiful quilt made by Quilt of Valor, a crocheted afghan for his wife Kim made by Kay Leonard, cards from supporters and other thoughtful gifts including  a donation from OWYH to help ease their unexpected expenses.  

Doug and Kim are amazed with the continued support they have from so many! Thank you for your prayers, get well wishes and support!"

Morsovillo said cards and notes of well-wishes are being accepted by the Balder family and can be sent to:  Doug Balder, c/o Operation Welcome You Home, 1750 W. Ogden #2062, Naperville, IL  60567

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