November 2012 - In This Issue
Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) Launches, Join Now!
Manufacturing Informational Event Set For December 18th
Chicago To Welcome Home Post-9/11 Heroes
Surplus Computers Donated To Vets Organizations
IRS Offers Special Tax Considerations For Veterans
Pearl Harbor Event To Take Place In Springfield
Retired Legislator Named November Veteran Of The Month
Vets Cash Pays Dividends For Illinois Veterans

Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) Launches, Join Now!

IJF logo

More than 250 non-profit, public and private leaders gathered on Nov. 9th at the Union League Club of Chicago to launch Illinois Joining Forces (IJF), a new statewide public-private partnership that will improve support for service members, veterans and their families. 


"IJF represents a first-of-its-kind statewide effort to make the sea of goodwill navigable," said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. "The tools IJF will offer directly to veterans and to the community of support are powerful and exciting."


For more information or to join the partnership, please visit the IJF website at

 Manufacturing Info Event Set For December 18th

The manufacturing sector in Illinois is in dire need of thousands of skilled workers, and military veterans are in a unique position to meet this demand. Illinois manufacturers are specifically looking for veterans who can bring soft skills and/or technical experience to their workplaces.


The "Mission: Military 2 Manufacturing" event, which is different from a traditional hiring fair, will serve to educate veterans on available careers and opportunities in the booming "new manufacturing" sector. The event will help to connect veterans with local manufacturing training centers, funding sources (for training purposes), and current veterans in the manufacturing sector. Participating veterans will leave equipped with a personal plan to move from training to employment.


The program will take place from 1-5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at the Mazak Corporation, 300 East Commerce Drive in Schaumburg, Illinois 60173.


If you plan to attend, please RSVP with Max Dulberger at (312) 814-5538 or

Chicago To Welcome Home Post-9/11 Heroes

Will you be part of the "Chicago Welcomes Home The Heroes" events in Chicago on Friday (Dec, 14th) and Saturday (Dec. 15th)?


Event organizers are expecting thousands of Chicagoans to come together and properly welcome home both Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, while honoring fallen troops and others who are still in harm's way.


The two-day program is expected to be both a memorable and enjoyable celebration for the veterans and ultimately raise awareness about the challenges these men and women are facing as they transition back into our communities and civilian life.


To sign up as a reader of names of the fallen at the memorial ceremony (12/14), or to sign up to walk in the parade (12/15), please visit the Chicago Welcomes Home The Heroes website for more information.

Surplus Computers Donated To Vets Groups

Surplus PCs LabelsIDVA Director Erica Borggren and Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) Director Malcolm Weems teamed up to donate 400 laptop computers to veteran organizations throughout Illinois.
The Dell E6400 computers come with 2.2 Ghz Processors, 160GB hard drives, and 3GB RAM and have a retail value at just under $400 each.


"Our chance to pilot this re-purposing of federal surplus computers is yet another way that Illinois is at the forefront when it comes to serving those who have served," said IDVA Director Borggren. "Illinois is home to hundreds of veterans' organizations helping veterans on everything from coping with PTSD to training for employment and these computers will help them do that work even better."


The Illinois State Agency for Surplus Property (ILSASP) redistributes, recycles or disposes of surplus state property and oversees the distribution of the federal GSA surplus property. These laptops were donated free of charge to veterans' organizations on first-come, first-served basis.

To receive federal surplus donations in Illinois, veterans' groups, colleges, work training programs and other humanitarian organizations must meet GSA's eligibility criteria.
There are hundreds more computers available for interested veterans organizations. For more information, please visit

Special Tax Considerations For Veterans

1040 formThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reaching out to disabled veterans who may qualify for special tax considerations.


The IRS offers the following links to detailed information to help veterans determine their eligibility to claim a federal tax refund and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for veterans who may need to file an amended tax return.


If you have questions or concerns regarding other tax matters, service members and veterans are encouraged to visit

Pearl Harbor Event To Take Place In Springfield

IDVA would like to invite you to Springfield's annual Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony:

  • WHAT: 71st Anniversary, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day to honor the memory of those who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, plus their friends and family members
  • WHEN: 11 a.m., Friday, December 7th
  • WHERE: Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Hall Hagler #15, 25 Club Area (Lake Springfield), Springfield, Illinois
  • WHO: Veterans of all conflicts, State of Illinois officials
  • CONTACT: Gwen Diehl, Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, (217) 785-4575

 Retired Legislator Named Veteran Of The Month

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) has honored Ronald Stephens, a Greenville resident and US Army veteran, as its November 2012 "Veteran of the Month."


"Ron Stephens' life is defined by his service to others," said IDVA Director Erica Borggren, seen at left presenting Stephens with Governor Quinn's proclamation. "He served his country in Vietnam, was elected to 13 terms in the Illinois House, and continues to dedicate a significant amount of time to veteran initiatives in his southern Illinois veteran community."


Stephens served in the US Army (1969-1971) as a paratrooper with the storied 173rd Airborne Brigade. He is a combat veteran who suffered wounds to his head, arm, shoulder and hand as a result of enemy fire.


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

 Vets Cash Pays Dividends For Illinois Veterans

2012 Vets Cash ticketProceeds from the Veterans Cash scratch-off lottery ticket continue to help non-profit organizations deliver specialized programs and services to Illinois veterans.


Six grants totaling more than $205,000 were awarded during the 2nd quarter of FY13:


  • American Legion, Department of Illinois (Bloomington)--$13,600 to purchase new computers and software for the Legion's appeals office at the VA Regional Office.
  • Featherfist (Chicago)--$50,000 to provide much needed repairs and improvements to their transitional housing facility.
  • The Impact Center (Washington, D.C.)--$22,227.50 to support the expansion of the Veterans Collaborative Online Platform that will provide collaborative tools to increase transparency and navigability of veteran support and resources in Illinois.
  • John Marshal Law School (Chicago)--$12,500 for purchase of computer software that will assist the clinic in research and filing of federal disability appeals at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans (Wheaton)--$50,000 to provide operational support of the shelter's ongoing mission to aid and house homeless veterans with employment training, life skills training, sobriety/relapse counseling, and intensive case management and clinical therapy.
  • The Salvation Army (Champaign)--$57,309.93 to purchase new equipment in their homeless shelter and to provide transportation for low-income veterans to the Danville VA Medical Center.

The Illinois Lottery recently introduced a new, $2 Veterans Cash instant game that is expected to raise nearly $900,000 for future grants. The game features prizes of up to $20,000 and is available at more than 8,100 retailers statewide.


To apply for a grant, you may download an application from the Veterans Cash website. For more information about IDVA and its programs, please visit the agency's homepage.

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