Veterans News and Notes: Havers to head Pritzker Museum
By Jerry Field
Dr. Rob Havers became President & CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in February 2019. He came to his post from his previous position as President of the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia. He previously served as Executive Director of the National Churchill Museum and Vice President for the Churchill Institute at Westminster College, located in Fulton, Missouri.
The Churchill Museum includes a museum, archives and a research library, all similar components to the structure of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. Dr. Havers had been affiliated with the Churchill organizations and Westminster College since 2004.
He previously served as Fulbright-Robertson visiting professor of British History at Westminster College, as a professor of War Studies at Sandhurst, taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science and University of Cambridge.
An accomplished scholar, author and public speaker, Dr. Havers graduated from Queen Mary College, University of London with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Politics; London School of Economics and Political Science with a Master’s degree in later modern British History, and Pembroke College of University of Cambridge with a Ph.D.
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He is the author of several articles and books. His Ph.D. thesis, “Reassessing the Japanese POW Experience: The Changi POW Camp, 1942-45,” was published as a book in 2003 and subsequently reissued in paperback in 2013.
Veteran NEWS FROM LAKE COUNTY
Lake County VAC Is Getting Active at the State Level
Asst Superintendent Sherry Kruse and VSO John Murray have been appointed to committees within the IACVAC (Illinois Association of County Veterans Assistance Commissions). This is the state level organization to support the interaction of the various county VAC commissions.
Sherry will be participating in the Outreach Committee which includes enhancing the website. This will be very useful given that the Lake County VAC is working on outreach within the county and enhancing our website!
John has joined the Legislative committee whose role is to discuss issues/concerns that affect the Veterans within Illinois, establish data/metrics to initiate a bill and work to garner support from other Veterans and members of the Veterans Organizations to get the bills passed.
Three Ways to Get Your Taxes Done For Free!
United Way is again offering MyFreeTaxes – a free on-line tax system that you can use yourself to generate and file your federal taxes (and possibly state taxes) in conjunction with HR Block. My Free Taxes is an online tax preparation service that is free, safe, and easy to use. Sponsored by United Way and H&R Block, MyFreeTaxes has all of the features you’re looking for to file your federal and state returns – with none of the fees. Taxpayers can save an average of $200 in fees by using My Free Taxes. Here’s a link to MyFreeTaxes.
Eligibility guidelines have expanded in 2018 to include any individuals and households earning $66,000 or less in calendar year 2018.
The program also offers free English and Spanish support via telephone (1-855-MY-TX-HELP), email and online chat support from IRS-certified specialists. For more information, contact Deanna Olmem at (847) 775-1018 or Deanna.Olmem@uwlakeco.org.
By USVCP Staff Members
There are numerous veteran benefits available to aging veterans, including some recently added programs. Veterans, Veterans Service Officers, and many family members have no idea these supportive programs exists.
For many veterans, aging, along with changes in physical health and income, makes them eligible for benefits they previously didn’t qualify for years ago. Here’s a brief overview about programs are currently available.
1. The Injured Veterans Grant Program offers as much as $10,000 to those who sustained serious injuries during combat after 9/11. The Veterans Trust Fund is also available for various service-related causes.
2. Housing is another benefit. The Homeownership Assistance Grant for $5,000 is available for those purchasing a home in many states (not all).
3. The Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Tax Credit is a new benefit from 2017 that provides 100 percent exemption of property taxes for 100 percent disabled service-connected veterans and indemnity compensation recipients. The Property Tax Exemption will reduce a veteran’s assessed home value for property tax purposes by $1,850. To qualify, one must have service during war or 18 months of peacetime.
4. Many Veterans Residential Care Facilities have residential and nursing beds for honorably discharged veterans in many states. Ask your VSO for more information.
5. The Brandstad/Reynolds Scholarship Fund offers post-secondary scholarships to children of deceased military members who died during active status after 9/11. Children with a parent who was killed in action after 9/11 are eligible for up to $11,844 per year in tuition assistance at a post-secondary institution through War Orphans Education Aid. There is also a smaller benefit for children with a parent who died prior to 9/11.
6. The National Guard Tuition Benefits for members in good standing.
7. Many states provide honorary high school diplomas to qualifying veterans who didn’t graduate due to service. Again, see your VSO for details.
8. Lifetime hunting/fishing licenses at a reduced rate and specialty license plates are also available to eligible veterans.
9. Many of the veteran’s organization such as VFW, American Legion, AMVETS, etc. often donate $300-$400 (depending on the length of membership, usually a minimum of five years, and paid up dues status), to the surviving spouse or nearest surviving relative. Many of these organizations will also have a group perform a military honors ceremony at the gravesite of the deceased veteran, with flag presentation to the next of kin.
Express yourself and VOTE – via mail-in- Vote early or Vote on Voting Day
Be sure you have your DD-214 handy if needed
Register you DD214 with your local County office
Sign up with Veterans Organization – Protect your old and new benefits
Don’t want to attend Veterans meetings? There is a Veterans post on e-mail !!
Dues are inexpensive and no requires donations
Send news and announcement to firstname.lastname@example.org
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South Korean Consul General Jong kook Lee recently presented Dr. Field with the Ambassador of PeaceGold Medal.
His nonmilitary career is varied as he was a film publicist, newspaper reporter and taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology for nearly 20 years. He was an instructor for the ROTC and currently manages the JROTC program for Leadership for JWV. As Executive Director of the Chicago Veterans Coordinating Committee, his efforts are directed toward supporting Veterans and Military members to avail themselves of the benefits provided by the Veterans Administration and other service organizations.
Dr. Field holds a doctorate in education from Loyola University Chicago, a Masters in Economics and Marketing from Roosevelt University and a Leadership certification from the U S Army.
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