A few thoughts and best wishes for the New Year

A few thoughts and best wishes for the New Year

A few thoughts and best wishes for the New Year

By Jerry Field

Jerry FieldThere may be a time when we need to combine both to address several serious situations within the Veteran community. Suicide rates run about 20 persons per week nationwide; the homeless population is increasing; unemployment among Veterans is way above the national average. The Veteran organizations that are usually in the forefront of assisting Veterans have a major decrease in membership.  A recent survey by Chicago’s McCormick Foundationshows that 50% of Veterans are not taking advantage of the services offered to counter all the situations mentioned above. Veterans are not using the services of the Veterans Administration, local Veteran organizations and private services available.

Attached is a list of agencies what will help and assist homeless, complied by the Illinois State Department of Veterans Affairs. Director Steve Curda referred attention to the IDVA web site IDVA@illinois.gov that lists support for homeless Veterans.

Other links support Veterans services. If you’re homeless having a working computer is not one of your prime possessions.  If you have a computer print the page that list homeless and drop it in the hands of a homeless Veteran on the corner asking for some loose change. Add a copy the toll free number 800-437-9800 operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

By the numbers photo courtesy of Jerry Field



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There are many Veterans oriented service units in Illinois. Many are an excellent resource for services for Veterans. And many have close to the same names. Chicago Veteran or Chicago Veterans are not the organization as Chicago Veterans Coordinating Committee or CVCC. Student Veterans is not the same as Students Veterans of America or SAV. Both the Secretary of State and the Attorney General of Illinois offer a quick check on a corporate name and who is the ownership.

A Safe Haven, 2750 west Roosevelt Road, Chicago, 60608, (7730435-8300) a community assistance program with one of the early programs for Veterans and Military has published its annual report on services to the community and Veterans.

Neli Vazquez Rowland is the President/Co-founder of A Safe Haven Foundation. A Safe Haven is a vertically integrated ‘eco- system’ nonprofit that has successfully been engaged in rebuilding lives from poverty and homelessness. Her goal is to address the issues of poverty, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction with protocols that offer an effective, efficient delivery system by connecting services of public and private entities that have a shared responsibility and common goals. A Safe Haven delivery system is designed to help people in crisis to achieve sustainable self-sufficiency and more importantly saving lives.

Dr. Rob Havers has been appointed, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pritzker Military Library and Museum. Havers will begin his new role Feb. 4, 2019.

“Dr. Rob Havers comes to us with an exceptional record of accomplishments in non-profit administration, military history, and library and museum services,” says Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), founder and chairwoman of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. “I am confident that the Pritzker Military Museum and Library will continue to grow and flourish under his strategic leadership.”

Havers is a military historian, accomplished scholar, author, and public speaker. He comes to the Museum & Library from the George C. Marshall Foundation where he served as president for four years. From 2004 to 2014, Havers was the executive director of the National Churchill Museum, an organization dedicated to the remembrance and commemoration of Sir Winston Churchill. For three years prior, he was a senior lecturer at the Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, United Kingdom.

Dr. Havers graduated from Queen Mary College, University of London with a bachelor’s degree in history and politics; The London School of Economics and Political Science with a master’s degree in later modern British history and Pembroke College of the University of Cambridge with a Ph.D.

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer John Schwan will officially step down but will continue to serve as a board member for the Museum & Library.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Click Here to LISTEN to Hanania's live radio show on 2nd Friday every month 7 AM CST. Click here to listen to Ray's Podcasts. 

His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.

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