Governor Pat Quinn today highlighted programs that benefit Veterans, servicemembers and their families throughout Illinois. At an event in Chicago, Governor Quinn was joined by representatives from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, the Illinois National Guard and the USO of Illinois.
"We must do everything we can to support our Veterans and servicemembers," said Governor Quinn. "It is our duty to honor the men and women in uniform who have selflessly served our state and country."
At today's event, Governor Quinn highlighted a number of programs that he has established or supported during his time in public service.
Helmets to Hardhats is a national initiative modeled on Illinois' program which connects National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military servicemembers to high-quality construction industry training and employment opportunities. The program seeks to ease the challenging transition to civilian life for servicemembers and their families. For more information please visit www.helmetstohardhats.org.
The Illinois Military Family Relief Fund allows residents to donate to Illinois military families in need of financial assistance while loved ones are deployed overseas. Since its launch in 2003, the program has distributed nearly $12 million dollars to families across the state. Donations may be sent to Illinois Military Family Relief Fund, 1301 North MacArthur Boulevard, Springfield, IL 62702.
Operation Support Our Troops is devoted to sending care packages with items that are not readily available to servicemembers overseas. Beginning on Veterans Day 2010, OSOTIL will be accepting donated items at MB Financial locations across the Chicagoland area. For a list of needed items and drop-off locations, visit www.osotil.org.
Operation Hero Miles makes airline tickets available to military families for travel related to a servicemember's medical condition. Servicemembers being treated as a result of an injury can also request a ticket to travel home while on medical leave. To donate airline miles for families to visit wounded military personnel at medical centers, please visit www.fisherhouse.org.
For more information about programs for our Veterans, visit www.operationhomefront.org or call the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs at 217-782-6641 or 312-814-2460.