Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Newsletter       August 2013

Soldier Field

2013 Illinois Warrior Summit!


The annual  Illinois Warrior Summit and Welcome Home Celebration is returning to Soldier Field on Monday, August 12th, 2013, from 12 to 5 pm.


Over 250 organizations have collaborated to provide veterans this opportunity to connect regarding benefits, education, employment, housing, legal opportunities, plus many others, for free, in one centralized location. 


IDVA representatives will be there to help organizations to learn more about Illinois Joining Forces and to help Illinois veterans to Stand Up and Be Counted.  

World Sport Chicago is providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity for 200 injured, ill and wounded veterans to compete in sporting event competitions at the Midwest Valor Games; which kicks off August 12, at Soldier Field as well. Between the Midwest Valor Games, the Warrior Summit and the Welcome Home Celebration, this is the largest and most significant veteran event in the Midwest - and it's free!

                    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:


10:00 a.m.                               Helping Our Hometown Heroes Benefits Fair

10:30 a.m.                               Memorial Service

12:00 p.m.                               Official Program featuring Governor Pat Quinn

                                               Veteran of the Month Ceremony

1:00 p.m.                                 Luncheon

1:00 -3:00 p.m.                         Performance by the 144th IL Army National Guard Band

4:00 p.m.                                 Parade (lineup at 3:15 p.m. at Gate 3 near the Fire Station)


The Helping Our Hometown Heroes Benefits Fair will include participation from veteran groups, public and State agencies, and non-profit organizations to help veterans and their families learn more about the benefits and support available.   


A free performance by the St. Andrew's Society of Central Illinois Pipes and Drums will be offered, along with day-long access to the Illinois Fallen Heroes Traveling Wall.

27 Years of Volunteering - Appreciated!
Ms Erma

For over 27 years Ms Erma Peppin, 98 and pictured right, has been making a difference as a volunteer at the Illinois Veterans' Home - Manteno (IVH-M).  In early July this year, the IVH-M residents and staff surprised her with a heartfelt expression of gratitude for all her dedication and service to the residents.  The Kankakee Daily Journal covered the event, and thanks to the skill of photographer Nicholas Holstein and reporter Jon Krenek, this story has gone viral with coverage by the Army Times, the Miami Herald, the San Francisco Chronicleand many others.  Thanks Ms Peppin!  You are a great example for others!


Gov. Quinn Signs Laws to Support Veterans


Gov. Pat Quinn celebrated the Fourth of July in Arlington Heights by signing a package of three bills that will help Illinois veterans.  Aimed at making military training and experiences count toward civilian employment and licenses in Illinois, the bills will help more members of the military and veterans find employment as police officers, EMTs and commercial vehicle drivers. The laws are also an important recognition of the teamwork, discipline, and mission-focus that military veterans bring to the civilian workplace.

"Thanks to Gov. Quinn's leadership and the efforts by the sponsors of these bills, our Illinois Veterans will have additional access to jobs and opportunities," Erica Borggren, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs said at the bill signing. "Illinois Veterans appreciate these important acts to ease the transition into the civilian workforce."


House Bill 2563 allows those who have at least two years experience operating a military motor vehicle to bypass the state skills test in applying for a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). 


House Bill 3186 recognizes military training and clinical experience when applying to be an EMT, and waives the application fee for all Illinois State Troopers or members of the Illinois National Guard who volunteer as an EMT in a municipality with a population of 5,000 or fewer. Supported by the State's Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, the new law will help create more EMTs in underserved areas and throughout Illinois.


Senate Bill 204 - sponsored by State Sen. Muņoz and Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) - makes college degree requirement exemptions for certain members of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Illinois National Guard looking to become Illinois State Police officers. 

HB 2563, HB 3186 and SB 204 are all effective Jan.1, 2014. 

Your IDVA Calendar  


Aug. 6        Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair - St. Louis, MO 


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


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


Aug. 12       2013 Illinois Warrior Summit - Soldier Field - Chicago, IL 

                   6th Annual Welcome Home Celebration

                   Valor Games Midwest (Aug. 12-14)


Aug. 15       USO Illinois - Clark After Dark - Chicago, IL 


Aug. 25       Veterans Day at the Du Quoin State Fair - Du Quoin, IL 


Sept.  2      Labor Day    State Offices & VSO Offices closed.  

                        Please call (800) 437-9824 for assistance. 


Sept. 7       Veterans on Parade - Marion, IL   


Sept. 11     Patriot Day - 9/11     


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