Suburban Chicagoland launches new Veterans Info Section

Suburban Chicagoland launches new Veterans Info Section
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Suburban Chicagoland launches new Veterans Info Section

By Dr. Jerry Field

Jerry FieldSuburbanChicagoland.com, the web site that services Chicago communities, will expand to cover Veteran news, benefit information, services and listing of events. The website will update weekly with contact information and events for Veterans and Military.

Illinois has an unusual number of excellent Veterans units supporting all Veterans and Military with an enormous number services benefits and events.  Chicago Veterans Coordinating Committee (CVCC) will bring together a bi-monthly listing of events, news and information of Veterans interests. Most events are free.

Tapping into Illinois Veterans organizations with its scheduled events, news, health and common interests will be in addition to bringing concerns and new benefits to all Illinois Veterans.

Current agenda items are concerns of Veterans and Military, both active and reserve such as not receiving college credit for military training and education,

There is a concern regarding Military medics and corpsmen and women not being able to qualify for hospital medical positions when military education and training is accredited by independent national organizations.

A major concern is a report from the McCormick Foundation’s recent survey on the status of Illinois Veterans that just over 50% are not using the health and welfare benefits offered by the Veterans Administration and private services.

The website will list as many events hosted by Veterans organizations for Veterans as time and space will allow. Included will be special discounts and services. Many but not all include immediate family and spouses

On Monday, October 8, the Chicago Harold Washington Public Library, Van Buren and State Street, Chicago will host a Veteran services and Information session at 6 PM covering various services and benefits available from the City of Chicago, Cook County and State of Illinois.  Three additional units will be available covering mental health, homeless and women’s services. The program is free to all who attend.

Additional flyers describing services and benefits will be available as well as stand down and volunteer opportunities.

Special interviews with Veterans leaders and innovators will be part of the Veterans and military coverage.

Veteran Alerts:

Agent Orange has been detected in second and third generation Military. If you have been in contact with or had been in the Vietnam zone of operation, check with your local VA for a screening.

DD 214 The Department of Defense Identification card should be in a place where it is possible to find immediately, if needed. You can register your DD 214 with the local county office. This makes obtaining a military service if requested by the family and an honor guard presentation for the American Flag ceremony.

The Veterans’ family must request a military presence at the memorial service.

Discount card:

Ask for the Veterans discount card that most county offices in Illinois have available. This card has discounts for all types of services and benefits. Once again you will need your DD 214.

VOLUNTEER If you are interested in volunteering for a shift at your local VA Medical Center contact the Volunteer Unit by calling the number at your nearest VA Medical Center and ask for Volunteer services. Contact:  Jesse Brown in Chicago, Lowell in Lake County and Hines in western suburbs.

The State of Illinois has a Veterans assistant program in each county. If you need assistance, visit your local County Assistance Program.   This program covers rent, basic assistance, job placement and a list of other services.

Each Veteran and Military can support the expansion and continued of your VA benefits programs by joining a Veterans organization. Small specific groups can alien with local chapter of a national veteran organization to add to its membership roll and continue to improve benefits and services. Our most important effort is Veterans and military representation in Washington D. C.

New Illinois Laws regarding Veterans:

Thanks to Eric Murphy, Legislative liaison for the Illinois Veterans Advisory Council

HB 109   Illinois Veteran Quincy Home funding was about 53 Million for rehab.

HB 4288 All National Guard from other than Illinois are given same status

HB 4317 Service members killed in line of duty, any lease is terminated

HB 4954 4th Day of November is “G.I. Bill Rights Day” state holiday

SM 2225 Issuance of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Illinois License Plates

The website will list as many events hosted by Veterans organizations for     Veterans as time and space will allow. Included will be special discounts and services. Many but not all include immediate family and spouses.

Special interviews with Veteran Military leaders and innovators.

Next week Meet: New Director Stephen Curda of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. (IDVA). A Brigadier General, Doctorate in Education and 30 years active service. Including Illinois Guard and reserve positions.

(Jerry Field is a veteran and longtime writer. Email him at jfield@chicagoveterancc.org, and visit his website at www.chicagoveteranscc.org. You can also email Veterans event information to rghanania@gmal.com.)

News Editor

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