Illinois Dept. of Veterans' Affairs Newsletter            November 2013

Great News for Illinois Veterans!

Veteran Cash Lottery is Back


The new Veterans Cash game is available at Illinois Lottery retail locations throughout the state. Each ticket costs $2 and the game features top prizes of $20,000. The Lottery anticipates raising more than $1 million for Illinois veterans from this year's game.  Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) Director Erica Borggren and Illinois Lottery Director Mike Jones were on hand at the Veterans Day event where the 2013 Veterans Cash Lottery was announced by Gov. Pat Quinn. 

Since Gov. Quinn first championed and launched the program in 2006, Veterans Cash has awarded more than $11 million in grants to 218 veterans' organizations statewide. The Veterans Cash game is the first lottery game in the United States to earmark 100 percent of net proceeds to veterans. IDVA receives the ticket sale proceeds and administers grants to non-profit groups that help Illinois veterans with job training and employment, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, homelessness, medical expenses, long term care and other disability benefits.


How can you help?  Easy.  Buy Veterans Cash for gifts, encourage others to support our veterans, or pass this newsletter along and help others get in touch with the IDVA.  Veterans Cash tickets make great stocking stuffers!  


So, You Can Lead? Great.  

Learn to Become Your Own Boss! 


The next Mission: Veterans 2 Entrepreneurs Training Seminar will be held on Thurs., Dec.19, College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. This is an exceptional, no-cost opportunity for veteran business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to network with like-minded professionals, learn about tools and resources available to them, and access training targeting their individual business aspirations.


This event is specifically designed for military veterans looking to launch their own business and existing veteran-owned businesses looking to expand their operations. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from one of three tracks based on where their business is in the entrepreneurial process - Concept, Start-up, or Established.  Veterans will gain customized assistance in a number of key areas, including business concepts, access to private lending/capitallegal aspects, finding mentors, building a customer base, obtaining government contracts, new markets, and professional networking. 


WHEN:  8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 19, 2013


WHERE:  College of DuPage - Student Resource Center (SRC 2000)

               425 Fawell Blvd. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 (map)


Get (Better) Connected! 


 Our IDVA Veteran Service Officers (less than 80, state-wide) helped thousands of Illinois veterans to obtain over $86 million in VA Disability benefits this last fiscal year - including over $43 million was in retroactive benefits.


How did they do that?  By working with veterans and family members to help them prepare and submit Fully Developed Claims with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. To find out what benefits you might be eligible for, Stand Up and Be Counted and register online as an Illinois Veteran, and one of our VSOs will contact you.     

Join the vibrant and rapidly growing Facebook communities on Illinois Women Veterans or our FB homepage, Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs.  
Or, if you like getting things in short, 140-character bursts there's always IDVA's Twitter feed. Our Facebook feed is set to cross-walk important posts, so subscribers can get all the information we post, or just a little.   

 Of course you can always call us with questions or challenges. 800-437-9824 



Veteran of the Month - October  

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) recognized Edgar Delgado, a U.S. Air Force veteran, volunteer and prominent member of the Hispanic community as the
Illinois Veteran of the Month for October 2013Delgado was honored at a ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Chicago, with IDVA Director Erica Borggren on hand to present the award on behalf of Governor Quinn.


He serves on the Illinois Veteran Advisory Council and as a member of the El Valor Associate Board, which has a mission to support and challenge urban families to achieve excellence and participate fully in community life. He is also a leader within the Student Veterans of America (SVA), where he helps with initiatives growing the veteran-alumni network and fundraising. He resides in Chicago, IL and was nominated by Victor Herrera, executive vice president, NSHMBA, Chicago Chapter.


Delgado is also a participant in the MillerCoors Li­deres campaign, which highlights the hard work of today's Hispanic leaders and encourages the next generation of leaders to improve their business skills, expand their networks, and become leaders in their own right. In the Air Force Delgado served as an Aircraft Fuel Systems Journeyman, leaving the service as a Senior Airman in 2005. He was selected by his peers and immediate supervisors for the Knucklebuster of the Year award in 2001 for McChord Air Force Base, denoting excellence in aircraft maintenance.

Veteran of the Month - November

On Friday, Nov. 15 Dr. James C. Underwood, the President of Kaskaskia College, a U.S. Army veteran, distinguished veteran leader, and accomplished educator - was recognized as the Illinois Veteran of the Month for November 2013.  IDVA Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia presenting the award on behalf of  Governor Quinn.

Dr. Underwood has championed veteran- and military-friendly programs and services at the school during his tenure.  Under his leadership Kaskaskia College has been named "GI-Friendly" for the past 5 years, created an on-campus Veterans Service Office, and hosted the Enduring Freedom Celebration each year since 2001.  His efforts helped establish a Reserve Officer Training Program in partnership with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  A distinguished academic leader with awards and published works, he is also a member of the Illinois Veterans Service Advisory Committee, a Life Member of VFW Centralia Post 2055, and a 36-year member of the American Legion and Centralia Post 446.  


His 25-year Army career included service in Active, Guard and Reserve units, beginning with his service in Vietnam in the late 1960's, and culminated with his 13 medals and awards for his service.  He commanded from the platoon to the battalion-level in Ordnance, Special Weapons and Infantry units.  He and his wife Roxie, a retired educator, reside in Centralia, Marion County, IL.  

The Illinois Veteran of the Month Award is presented to veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military and make a real difference in the lives of others. To nominate a veteran for consideration, please visit.
Your IDVA Calendar  


Nov. 28     Thanksgiving - State Offices Closed

                 Hanukkah Begins

Dec.   3     RR Donnelly Veterans Job Fair - Warrenville, IL

Dec.   7     National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day - Springfield, IL


Dec. 10     Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) Summit - Union League Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL


                 Veterans Information, Benefits and Employment Seminar - Ottawa, IL


Dec. 13     Chicago Lawrence - Winter Stand Down - Northwest Armory, Chicago IL


Dec. 17     Illinois Veteran of the Month Ceremony  - Springfield, IL


Dec. 19     Mission: Veterans 2 Entrepreneurs Seminar (MV2E) -  College of DuPage, IL  


Dec. 25     Christmas Day - State Offices Closed


Dec. 26     Kwanzaa Begins


Jan. 1       New Year's Day 2014 - State Offices Closed 


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