August 2012 - In This Issue
Gov. Quinn Launches Illinois Hires Heroes Consortium
Collaborate With IDVA And DMA Thru Illinois Joining Forces
Events On September 27th, September 28th & October 27th
Veterans And Their Families Enjoy Free Days At Both State Fairs
Veterans Cash Lottery Ticket Helps 7 Non-Profits
Elgin's 'Doc' Sheehan Named Veteran of the Month

State Launches Illinois Hires Heroes Consortium

Launched earlier this month by Gov. Pat Quinn, the Illinois Hires Heroes Consortium (IHHC) is an alliance of business owners who agree to implement a series of veteran recruitment, training and retention practices.


Consortium members are then rewarded through no cost recruitment of veterans and the ability to exclusively display the IHHC logo, which will be a tell-tale sign to veterans and consumers that the company meets specific goals to be truly "veteran-friendly."


IHHC members will be featured on websites and materials operated by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA), which will jointly administer the Consortium.


For more information on taking the pledge, please visit the IHHC website at For specific questions, please contact IDVA Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia at (312) 814-5538 or IDES Deputy Director Gideon Blustein at (312) 793-9842.

Collaborate With Us Thru Illinois Joining Forces

IDVA is partnering with the Illinois Department of Military Affairs (DMA) to create Illinois Joining Forces (IJF), an umbrella organization that allows for the increased awareness and collaboration between the hundreds of non-profit and public entities (federal, state, local) serving military members, veterans, and their families.


Because IJF is such a large endeavor and requires the engagement of so many organizations, DMA and DVA are partnering with a non-profit organization, the Impact Center, which is running a comprehensive Launch Program between now and November. The Impact Center is conducting key stakeholder interviews and surveys, building a collaborative website which allows for active referrals of veterans, and putting together a launch summit for November 9, 2012.


If you are a veteran/military non-profit or public agency: The Impact Center has just launched the preliminary Illinois Joining Forces website at Please visit the website and take a few minutes to complete the surveys identified in the "Tell Us About Your Work" section. Should your organization become an Illinois Joining Forces member late this year, the data that you enter in these surveys will become part of the online resource directory that is so essential to the IJF's success.  


If you are an individual veteran: Be on the lookout for the easy navigation that will provide to veterans and service members late this year! In the meantime, please help us spread the word on Illinois Joining Forces, so that the more than 500 veteran and military non-profit organizations in Illinois have the chance to join the movement.


For more information about the program, please download the accompanying fact sheet.

Events On Sept. 27th, Sept. 28th, And Oct. 27th


September 27, 2012


What: Hiring Our Heroes event

Where: Loyola University, Chicago




September 28, 2012


What: "Mission: Veterans 2 Entrepreneurs" event

Where: American Legion Post 979, Bartonville

More Info: Download official flyer




October 27, 2012


What: Inaugural Illinois Women Veterans Fair

Where: College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn 

More Info: Download promo flyer

Veterans, Families Enjoy Free Day At State Fairs

More than 2,100 veterans came out for the annual Veterans Day at the Illinois State Fair on August 12th and during the DuQuoin State Fair on August 26th.


Admission for veterans and their families was free and a huge turnout of veterans--most with their families in tow--helped to push Illinois State Fair attendance figures to the highest in 10 years.


"Even the most senior IDVA team members couldn't recall more successful Veterans Day," said Director Erica Borggren. "We at IDVA were privileged to honor our fallen and to thank in person so many members of the Illinois veteran community during festivities at both of Illinois' state fairs."


In addition, Gov. Quinn (above) signed a package of new laws to honor veterans and fallen heroes at the Veterans' Day ceremony in Springfield. 

Veterans Cash Lottery Ticket Helps 7 Non-Profits

Vets CashProceeds from the Veterans Cash lottery ticket continue to help non-profit organizations deliver specialized programs and services to the Illinois veteran community.


During the last quarter, seven grants totaling more than $330,000 were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Carpenter's Place (Rockford)--$18,406 for rehabilitation of a home for previously homeless veterans including installation of new appliances.
  • Family Alliance (Woodstock)--$2,000 to provide day care services for elderly veterans in McHenry, Boone, Kane, and Lake counties.
  • The Impact Center (Washington, D.C.)--$46,500 to develop an online platform for public and non-profit organizations throughout Illinois which serve military members, veterans, and their families; the platform will improve collaboration and transparency in military and veteran support.
  • The Salvation Army (Springfield)--$50,600 for the organization's Veterans Assistance Program to support Sangamon County's homeless veteran population by offering food, shelter, clothing, counseling, employment counseling, and commercial kitchen job training.
  • Thresholds (Chicago)--$68,892 for the organization's Veterans Project that supports homeless veteran outreach, employment services, and combat trauma/mental health therapies, housing, medical care, and education.
  • TLS Veterans (McHenry)--$43,787 to purchase two vehicles to transport their residents (previously homeless veterans) to medical appointments, jobs, and other activities.
  • VFW, Department of Illinois (Springfield)--$100,000 to assist Illinois veterans with the application process for federal disability claims and other benefit programs.

To apply for a grant, please download an application at the Veterans Cash website.

Elgin's 'Doc' Sheehan Named Veteran Of The Month

Director Erica Borggren presents "Doc" Sheehan with Gov. Quinn's proclamation.
The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) has honored Arthur "Doc" Sheehan, a resident of Elgin and US Air Force veteran, as its August 2012 "Veteran of the Month."


"Doc Sheehan has made it his life mission to serve and heal, in uniform and out," said IDVA Dir. Erica Borggren. "His unselfish attitude and tireless devotion to veterans of all ages epitomize the outstanding qualities that the Veteran of the Month award was designed to recognize."


Sheehan served on active duty in Vietnam as a construction equipment operator and was cross-trained to work with the medical squadron from 1968 to 1972.


In the veteran community, Sheehan currently serves as a 3-term Post Commander (2009-2012) at VFW Post 1307; was All American Commander (2011-2012); All State Commander (2009-2010); Post Quartermaster (4 terms); Post Chaplain (2 years); Newsletter Editor (2010); National Aide-de-Camp (2 years); and, National Deputy Chief of Staff (1 year).


For more information on Sheehan, see IDVA's press release. To nominate someone for the honor please visit IDVA's website at to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.

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