U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was honored Monday at the Pentagon for his service in the Naval Reserve.
Kirk, who suffered a stroke in January 2012, retired from the Navy Reserve in May 2013.
“This was a formality to honor his 23 years of service,” Kirk spokesman Danielle Varallo said.
He had spent his entire career in military intelligence and has gone on multiple tours, including to Afghanistan.
“At the heart and soul of my service has been my love for the United States military, the greatest force for human dignity on Earth,” Kirk said in a statement. “I have loved every day in the Navy, and serving has been one of the greatest honors of my life.”
Kirk joined the Navy Reserve when he was a congressional aide. He kept serving as he went on to hold jobs with the State Department, the World Bank and the House International Relations Committee. And he continued after his 2000 election to Congress.
CONTRIBUTING: ASSOCIATED PRESS