Two Medal of Honor awards were given to a McHenry County Sheriff’s sergeant and fallen deputy this week by Gov. JB Pritzker in Springfield.
Sgt. Daniel Kramer was awarded a medal for demonstrating “bravery and heroism” while serving a homicide arrest warrant that resulted in a deadly shootout between officers and the suspect June 16, 2020, in Beach Park.
The suspect was killed by police after opening fire on them. Kramer was on the scene along with Lake County Deputy Thomas Siber, who also was recognized with a Medal of Honor.
“It feels kind of goofy for receiving an award for just doing my job,” Kramer said.
Deputy Jacob “Jake” Keltner also was honored after being killed while on duty while serving a search warrant March 7, 2019, in Rockford. Kramer also was with Keltner that day and accepted the Medal of Honor on Keltner’s behalf.
“It was a much bigger deal to accept that on Jake’s behalf,” Kramer said, comparing his feelings toward receiving his Medal of Honor with accepting Keltner’s.
“When we have men and women who go above and beyond their call of duty and show this sort of bravery and courage, it exemplifies what ‘hero’ really means,” McHenry County Sheriff Robb Tadelman said. “We are very proud of Sgt. Kramer and Deputy Keltner, whom we miss terribly.”
Keltner’s father, Howard, said that receiving the medal is an honor, although “it’s hard he got it that way.”
“Kramer was with him that day and accepted it on his behalf. That means something to me,” Howard Keltner said.
Howard Keltner and Kramer said that the Medal of Honor most likely will go to Jake Keltner’s wife, Becki.