Honoring Veterans this Memorial Day weekend

Honoring Veterans this Memorial Day weekend

Honoring Veterans this Memorial Day weekend

By Jerry Field

This is one of several holidays when we can honor and salute our Veterans who defend our country’s freedom and form of government that insures that freedom. Seldom we have ventured to foreign soil and help those who need our assistance to maintain their freedom and democratic of life. Often it is difficult to know who’s a Veteran and those who have served in the military in peace time. Many do not self-identity as being a defender in the military and often do not say much about their military service.

This week-end and every military holiday a suggestion is offered. If you are a Veteran, former military or reserve wear your cap, a jacket if you have one and certainly display a lapel pin. Some of the younger Veterans and military prefer to wear a patrol cap, called in civilian life a baseball cap. Show your branch of service, show you unit. When someone says “thank you for your service” smile and thank them and say “thank you, appreciate your thanks”.

We all contribute to our freedoms.

Orland Park Veterans commemorate Veterans Day. Photo courtesy of the Village of Orland Park

Orland Park Veterans commemorate Veterans Day. Photo courtesy of the Village of Orland Park

Another comment. I friend of mine is married a young man who served in the Navy. I asked if would join one of the many Veteran groups. His comment was “ I didn’t do anything in the war just delivered supplies, mail and never set foot on land.  We “Just sailed in and sailed out.“



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My comment  “We could not have been successful without you. More than letters from home and supplies when needed those supplies they were there. It was valuable contribution. We always had enough parts, ammunition, fairly good food and clean clothes.”

Freedom is not Free – as seen on the Korean memorial in Washington D. C. and other Korean memorials in 17 counties and in the several cities in Chicago and South Korean.


Military women veterans are invited to join us on Saturday, May 25, 2019 in the memorial day parade at 12 noon on Wacker drive between Dearborn and State St.  The unit is number 40.

It’s an opportunity to let the City of Chicago and the new mayor know that military women veterans exist! Call us at (872) 731-2150 if you wish to ride or walk in the parade. Those who can walk, we are going to do just that!

On Memorial day, Monday may 27, 2019 Our Women will be facilitating five (5) memorial day programs at different cemeteries.

Join us to remember and honor those who have made the ultimate. It is a  weekend of remembrance!

Rochelle Crump, MS CED, president/founder 

Lawsuit Filed over Display of Bible at Veterans Hospital

A Bible on display as part of a memorial at New Hampshire’s veterans hospital should be removed because it is a violation of the First Amendment, a U.S. Air Force veteran said in a federal lawsuit May 7. The Bible was carried by a prisoner of war during World War II and became part of the Missing Man Table honoring missing veterans and POWs at the entranceway of the Manchester VA Medical Center. The Department of Veterans Affairs said May 7 the table was sponsored by a veterans group called the Northeast POW/MIA Network. Read more about the lawsuit on Military.com.

If You Have Not Applied: Veteran Discount Cards Available

Before you sign up, you will need a DD 214 or a VA medical card showing you are a Veteran and are entitled to have Veteran benefits. Cook, Lake, DuPage and Kane counties have cards available. Discounts on items you use every day, restaurants and some departments stores.

The card is free,

And a reminder when you visit any of the VA Medical centers stop in at the retail store, commonly called a PX or a Patriots Shop. The prices are excellent, no taxes and no charge for a bag.  A wide selection of household pots and pans, Large TV set and  clothing for women children women and Veterans.       

BE PREPARED in the Event of a Memorial Service

Veteran Benefits at Memorial Check List

If you do not have a DD214 – A military presence service cannot be obtained. The Funeral Director can assist  

  1. Any and all benefits and service for Veterans starts with a copy of the DD214

(Department of Defense Identification card or in very few cases a VA medical ID card)

Services listed below are only available with a DD 214

  1. Suggest a copy of the DD 214 is filed with the (LOCAL) County Recorder of Deeds

Cook, Lake, and Du Page and Most Illinois counties have similar programs

  1. At the same time a Cook Country Veteran discount card can be issued (CHECK others)
  2. Application for Burial Benefits (OMB 2900-003)
  3. Veterans can received reduced or no change for copies of Death Certificates

Cook County offers some courtesies – Other Counties has individual policies

  1. Application funeral for expenses are minimal, but cover some costs
  2. Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes
  3. Military presence to fold and present UI S Flag to family
  4. Head Stone Military Medallion request
  5. Forms for the above services are available from Dignity Memorials

If you’re planning to leave the service in 2019, don’t miss out on your VA benefits.

Eligible transitioning service members may be able to:

Find peace of mind with VA lifeinsurance

With Veterans’ Group Life Insurance, you can convert your activeduty Service members’ Group Life Insurance into lifetime renewable group insurance.

Veterans must apply within one year and 120 days of leaving service.

Filea claim with VAdisabilitycompensation.

Using VA’s Decision Ready Claims Program, transitioning service members can file pre-discharge claims if they have less than 90 days before their separation from militaryservice.

Veterans who have disabilities, medical conditions or injuries incurred or intensified during active military service may qualify to receive tax-free monthlybenefits.

Take control of your well-being with VA healthcare.

VA’scomprehensivemedicalbenefitspackageincludesprimary care, specialty care, mental health services andmore.

Eligible combat Veterans have free medical care – no enrollment fee, monthly premiums or deductibles – and free medications for any condition that may be related to service. This extended eligibility for health care lasts five years from the date of discharge orrelease.

Visit ExPlore.VA.govto take the Benefits Navigator quiz and find out which benefits you may qualify for, or check out all VA benefits by clicking the button below.

If you need help see your Veterans Organization, the Veterans Service Office (VOS). They know the application procedures and have been through the paper hundreds of time and most often it’s a free service.

Enjoy the Memorial Day week-end and say thanks to a Military and a Veteran



TorequestaSilverStarServiceBannerforawoundedorillservicememberorveteran,pleasetypeorprintlegiblyand completelyfilloutthisform.ONE(1)FREE8.5”X14”ServiceBannerperrecipient.VeteransMUSTresidewithinCook County to participate in the June 26, 2019 Silver Service Banner Ceremony. This application must be completed and receivedbytheofficeofCookCountyDepartmentofVeteransAffairsnolaterthanMay24,2019.

Qualifications for the Silver Star Service Banner Program

Silver Star Families of America define a wounded service member as any Armed Forces personnel either currently serving honorably or those who have served honorablyf rom ANY war, who having served in a war zone, have been wounded by enemy action or who have been injured or contracted a serious illness and could be ratedat least 10 percent by the Department of Veterans Affairs. All wounds, injuries or illnesses must have originated in a war zone. This may include: Purple Heart recipients, victims of friendly fire, injured in a war zone, and those who suffer from PTS, TBI, Agent Orange Effects and Gulf War Syndrome.


Address:             _________________________________________________________

City:                                                                            State:                                  Zip:                          

Phone:                     Rank:                    Branch:                                                     



Nature of injury/illness from combat/conflictzone:                                                                                                            

Do you have an email address?  If yes, Emailaddress:                                                                                                    

“I here by authorize the Silver Star Service Banner Program photographer and The Silver Star Families of America (SSFOA)  to use images without regard for reimbursement or acknowledgement. The photographs will become property of The Silver Star Families of America organization to use at their discretion.” The Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs will return all pictures submitted with application package to the SSFOA recipients.*

*By typing my name and date below, I am electronically signing my application.

Signature:                                                                                                                  Date:                                           

Please send Silver Star Application, Short Biography and Pictures by USPS Mail, E-Mail, or Fax, to:

Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs | Bureau of Administration Cook County Building Rm. 801 | 118 North Clark Street | Chicago, Illinois60602

E-Mail: Veterans.Affairs@CookCountyIl.gov| Fax: 312.603.4479

Toconfirmyourattendanceorformoreinformationregardingthe2019SilverStarBannerProgram, pleasecontactCookCountyVeteransAffairs:BillBrowneat312.603.6423

The Silver Star Families of America – www.SilverStarFamilies.org – “Silver Star Shining for Sacrifice”Honoring our combat wounded, injured, and ill troops and veterans from 2004-

(Dr. Jerry Field has a Doctorate in Education from Loyola University was a college senior adjunct professor in manufacturing and a consultant in Education program. He currently is a director at the Chicago Veterans Coordinating Committee. Send you events and news to jerrychicago710@gmail.com)

DuPage County Memorial Day Ceremony Scheduled for May 26

DuPage County will host a ceremony in observance of Memorial Day at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, at the DuPage County Government Complex in Wheaton. The guest speaker will be Ken Jacobs with DuPage Veterans Memorial Inc.

The ceremony will take place at the Veterans Memorial, located outside near the pond on the DuPage County Government Complex, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton. The memorial commemorates DuPage County residents who lost their lives in military conflicts at home and abroad beginning with the Black Hawk War in 1832 and continuing to the most recent engagements overseas.

The event will include the laying of the wreath by Gold Star families; a weapons salute by DuPage Honor Guard; and finally, the DuPage Honor Guard will retire the colors.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Auditorium of the 421 JTK Administration Building.

Additionally, DuPage County offices will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27. County departments and services will reopen on Tuesday, May 28.

For more information, visit www.dupageco-il-vetsmemorial.org.


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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