About like me then!
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I don't know where the ones I own are at the moment or I would post a photo rather than a description. The ribbon is probably is probably a state or city award that given him. Quite common then but not official US awards.
Great photo, Todd!
I tried researching this fella, however am coming up blank. There is one WWI registration card for a John Illiano from Montana, however his DOB is 12/12/84. Additionally, the card is dated 9/12/18. Basically, too late for him to have served plus he looks younger than his 30's in the photo.
I tried searching variations of the name; John, Jonathan, Giovanni, etc., but no luck.
I then searched using different spellings of the last name and I think I was able to find your guy. There is a John Iliano in the 1930 Census living with his Wife, Alice, and two children (Alice and John). At the time, they resided in Bridgeport, CT. In this, he is identified as a veteran of WWI. YOB is 1901, so in-line with his age in the photo (17-19 when you calculate averages based on the census).
I further searched and found a US City Directory listing from 1919, and found a John T. Illiano. In the 1919 listing, his occupation is listed as USA (US Army). This is also for Bridgeport, CT, so likely the same fella.
To confirm, I found a 1910 Census listing the same family above (John, Pasquale, etc.), living in Bridgeport, CT and the DOB is circa 1899.
Throw in the fact the above fella was from Connecticut and the 26th ID was comprised of soldiers from the New England area (of which Connecticut is a part of), I'd say this is likely your Soldier.
Nothing rock solid, and no military info, but this should be a good starting point if you decide to continue researching him.
Eric your research skills are excellent. I think you may very well have found him. Is be interested to see if his service records are available. I wonder if he still has any family in that area who might have his items. Thanks so much for the work you have done. That was certainly quick!
No problem, Todd! There are a few Illiano's living in Connecticut near Brdigeport, one of whom is named Pasquale, so could very well be related. Info below (these are public records - so I don't believe I'm violating anything by posting).
As for his records, certainly worth a try. If you've never requested them before, you need only fill out and submit SF-180, found at the link below. Mail it in to the address provided and wait. May take a while and there may be a small fee for copies of the paperwork.
Wouldn't hurt to contact Bay State, either, to see if they have any info on where or from whom the photo was acquired.
Good luck and keep us posted on what you're able to find out!
Thanks again Eric! Dead people pretty much have no privacy, and most all records are public so you're good. I've looked at the archives site before but never made any requests. Might be doing so this time.