Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Newsletter           July 2013
Happy Independence Day! 

Thank You, Korean War Veterans!

On July 27, 2013 we will observe 60 years of peace and freedom for the Republic of Korea. Here in Illinois, we have over 80,000 veterans from the Korean War era, along with thousands of others who have served in South Korea helping preserve the peace since then.  To those men and women - especially those who bore the brunt of battle and the harsh conditions of a combat zone - welcome home and thank you.


Many veterans of the Korean War report that they did not know what they were fighting for at the time.  Today, however, the impact is clear. South Korea is a vibrant and dynamic democratic nation, with an economy and military that contribute greatly to global prosperity and security.


On behalf of all the men and women of the IDVA, a sincere "Thank You" to our Korean War veterans and their families, the families of our fallen, and those who have served in the ROK in the decades since armistice was declared.

UPDATE: Illinois Licensing Efforts  


Earlier this year, Governor Pat Quinn issued Executive Order 13-02, which tasks state agencies to (1) identify overlaps and gaps between military training and state licenses, and (2) develop recommended "bridging" recommendations or curricula for veterans to obtain state licenses.  To view the Executive Order, please click here.


The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs is leading the implementation of this inter-agency effort.  Working with several state agencies, we have identified eight licensed professions to be assessed in the first cohort of state licenses.   Two of these reviews, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Certified Nurse Aides (CNA), have concluded, and the Department of Public Health is now accepting requests for consideration from individual veterans for these licenses.  Meanwhile, the Department of Financial & Professional Regulation has approved a recommended bridge curriculum for military medics to obtain an Illinois LPN license.


In the months to come, we will evaluate the remaining five professions:  dental hygienist, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, physical therapy assistant, and optometrist.  Together, we are making military training count in Illinois!


For additional information, please visit IDVA's State Licenses & Military Training webpage.  


Discharged Service Member Task Force 

Since 2007, IDVA has led the Illinois Discharged Servicemember Task Force, a group tasked to investigate the re-entry process for servicemembers returning to civilian life after being engaged in an active theater.  To accomplish its mission, the Task Force convenes a group of experienced veteran advocates and community leaders to analyze major issue areas and develop strategic policy recommendations.  The Task Force recently completed and submitted its annual report, which is full of timely issue analysis and policy recommendations from the federal to the local.  For the full report, click here.


                    Illinois State Fair - Veterans Day


The Illinois State Fair has been a proud part of our state's history for the last 160 years.  Since just after the Civil War, the State Fair has honored veterans with programs and free admission on "Veterans' Day at the State Fair."  In 2013, veterans will continue to get the red-carpet treatment on Veterans Day, Sunday, Aug 11, 2013 at the Illinois State Fair.  In addition to free admission for them and their families, there will be a parade, a memorial service, a benefits fair, and many other highlights.    


This year we will also be honoring the Illinois Veteran of the Month for July, U.S. Navy veteran Linda Crites of Springfield.  Make your plans to come join us at the State Fair!

Attention Women Veterans of Illinois!  


Stand up and let your voices be heard!  We need you to help us help you and your fellow women veterans.  Statistics show that women veterans are less likely to "own" their military service and to take advantage of the federal and state benefits they've earned.  Fortunately, IDVA is home to 26 women Veteran Service Officers in offices across the state - women veterans themselves who can help you learn about, apply for, and receive the benefits you've earned.  We also encourage you to take this survey help us better understand the experiences and needs of Illinois' women veterans. 


Regardless of whether you need assistance with benefits, we need our veterans - women and men alike - to Stand Up And Be Counted. By registering online as an Illinois veteran through SUBC, you will also be assisting your fellow veterans by helping IDVA and the entire veteran advocacy community to gain a better understanding of who and where Illinois' veterans are. This will help us plan for future services, lobby for further federal VA funding and facilities, and generally serve Illinois' veterans better. Stand Up And Be Counted today!

Your IDVA Calendar  



July  4        Independence Day!  State Offices & VSO Offices closed.  

                                                    Please call (800) 437-9824 for assistance.      


July  10      Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair -  

Union Station - Union Gallery, Chicago, IL

July 12       American Legion State Convention - Springfield, IL


July 18       Aurora Women Veterans Fair - Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, IL


July 24       Monument Dedication In Honor of Lance Cpl. Vazquez - Melrose ParkIL


July 27       60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice - Washington DC


July  10      Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair -  Davenport, IA


Aug. 6-8     National Veterans Small Business Conference - St. Louis, MO


Aug. 8-18   Illinois State Fair - Springfield, IL


Aug 11       Veterans' Day at the Illinois State Fair - Springfield, IL



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