Senator Michael Hastings appointed Chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee
State Senator Michael Hastings, an Iraq war veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in a Combat Zone, was named this week as the Chairman of the Illinois State Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee.
“Our veterans selflessly served our country and they deserve nothing but the best state services,” said Hastings (D-Frankfort).
“I look forward to continuing my 25 year career of public service as a soldier and a State Senator in the role of the Chair of the Illinois State Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. We have made monumental achievements in helping our veterans over the last decade, and I am certain that we will accomplish much more in the future,” Hastings said.
Hastings is one of two military veterans in the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus.
Following his graduation from United States Military Academy at West Point, Hastings rose to the rank of Captain while deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. On July 4, 2006, he was deployed to Iraq as a part of “The Surge.”
Throughout his deployment, Hastings served as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division (Forward), coordinating air, ground and security movements throughout Iraq. For meritorious service in a combat zone, Hastings was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and 1st Infantry Division combat patch.
After ten years of distinguished service Hastings was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army.
“I look forward to a continued collaboration with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on how we can work together to improve our veterans’ quality of life,” Hastings said.
Hastings pledged to continue on his commitment to uplifting our nation’s heroes in his new role.
During Hastings’ time in the Senate, he has passed a number of initiatives to provide and connect veterans with mental health resources, prevent the exploitation of veterans and promote the availability of free service programs, expand access to the MIA/POW Scholarships and increase funding at our state’s veterans homes.
Hastings urges those connected with veterans’ organizations or individuals with ideas on improving access to state programs to contact his office at (815) 464-5431 to share their input on how Illinois can continue to improve services to our nation’s heroes.
Hastings earned his Bachelor of Science degree in leadership and management at West Point and played as an offensive lineman on Army’s Division-I football team for four seasons, including the annual Army-Navy rivalry game in Washington D.C. Hastings graduated from West Point in 2003 and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army.
Hastings was at West Point when al-Qaida terrorists attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001. He later served in Iraq, advanced to the rank of captain and served as aide-de-camp to the commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division. He earned a Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone.
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