Illinois Dept. of Veterans' Affairs Newsletter                       April 2014

Update - Illinois State Budget 

and Veterans' Affairs


Since the Budget speech by Gov. Pat Quinn on March 26, Director Borggren and leaders of the IDVA have been meeting with and engaging veterans and their families across the state on the need to support the  FY 2015 Budget.  This budget, while slightly increasing the funding for veterans' issues in Illinois, really only keeps our current levels of activities and support in place.  Regardless, this budget reflects Gov. Quinn's long-standing support of  Illinois veterans and the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs programs. 



Gov. Quinn's FY2015 Budget includes full funding for IDVA's veteran programs.  It allows for the continued operation of IDVA's four Veterans' Homes, Veteran Service Offices, and Grant Programs.  


The budget proposed by Gov. Quinn relies on the legislature taking action on a number of fiscal issues, to include the $1.8B shortfall in the state budget caused by expiring income tax rates.  Absent action on this front, IDVA and other agencies could face a more than 20% cut to state funding, which would likely result in the closure of multiple IDVA Veterans' Homes and many of IDVA's Veteran Service Offices, among other programmatic cuts.


We are encouraging veterans and others concerned about the passage of the Governor's Budget to pay close attention to the debate in Springfield, and make known to their local legislators the importance of finding a way to support the passage of this important legislation, and avoid radical budget cuts to services for our veterans.

Success: MV2E at SWIC

Delivers to Veterans 


Partnering with Southwestern Illinois College, your IDVA hosted a great Mission: Veterans 2 Entrepreneurs (MV2E) event on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at the Belleville Campus.  Over 30 veterans and family members participated in a dynamic one-day workshop with three options for participants to learn about starting, growing or improving an existing veteran-owned business.  The goal?  To help Veterans succeed and become their own boss.

Mission: Veterans 2 Entrepreneurs is an IDVA and Central Management Services (CMS) joint-led initiative that provides veterans and returning service members with up-to-date information, resources and assistance in becoming a successful business owner.  This includes assistance in three central focus areas:

  • Assisting veterans in starting their own business;opportunities with local, state and federal agencies
  • Informing veterans as to how they can certify their business as "veteran-owned" with the State of Illinois and be eligible for the 3-percent goal of all state contracts and services
  • Providing guidance as to how veteran-owned businesses can pursue and obtain procurement.

For more information or to learn about future events, please visit the MV2E website




For the Illinois Veterans interested in starting a business who could not make the
MV2E training in Belleville, don't despair.  In addition to future MV2E events, SCORE offices across the state are willing to work with Illinois Veterans at no cost to assist them in starting a business.  SCORE is a national organization funded by the Small Business Administation.  All mentors are experts in their field and volunteer their services to assist those who want to start a business or those who want some help operating their business. They provide the information they need to know to be successful. SCORE is a member organization of Illinois Joining Forces.  
Erica Borggren, IDVA Director, left, presents a Governor's Letter of Appreciation to Abby Hively at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. (Image courtesy of the Quincy Herald-Whig; Photo by Steve Bohnstedt)

Honoring Two Who Helped Save Drowning Veteran


On Friday, April 18 at approximately 1:30 p.m. Abby Baker Hively and her children were fishing on a lake at the Illinois Veterans' Home - Quincy when a resident apparently lost control of his electric wheelchair and fell into the water, which was over his head.


Disregarding her safety, Ms Hively responded without hesitation and leapt into the chilly waters to offer aid.  She was able to hold the resident's head above water and provided aid until IVH-Quincy Security Guard Dave McKittrick others responded and offered additional assistance.  


Due to her prompt response the resident was spared from further injury and distress, and her actions reflect well on her, her family and her community. The resident's name and condition are being withheld due to privacy concerns.  He is receiving treatment and under observation in a regional facility.  For a great story by reporter Steven Williams, visit the Quincy Herald-Whig.

Veteran of the Month - April 2014

Loxie U. Sanders III


The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) recognized Loxie U. Sanders III as the Illinois Veteran of the Month at a ceremony in Kankakee on Tuesday, April 17.


In 1980, Sanders's service as a Medic with the Army was cut short due to injuries received while rescuing the victims of a traffic accident while on his way home to Illinois to be married.  Unable to complete his enlistment he became a Conductor for Amtrak. On June 24, 2011, while traveling as a passenger on a family trip on the California Zephyr through Nevada, tragedy struck.  A commercial semi truck and an Amtrak passenger train collided, near on U.S. 95 in Churchill County, Nevada, Sanders and other rescued people trapped on the burning train, suffering burns and injuries in the rescue effort.  He was honored by the State of Nevada Highway Patrol with Medal of Valor; the US Department of Transportation for heroism, and other recognition.  He is descended from Joseph "Pap" Tetter, the first settler of Hopkins Park, Illinois.  Sanders retired from Amtrak and is active in his local community, helping veterans and students. 


Veteran of the Month - May 2014

Chindavanh Keomuongchanh


The IDVA will recognize Chindavanh Keomuongchanh on Wednesday, May 28 at 10:00 a.m.

at the Elgin Veterans Memorial Park, N. Grove Ave., Elgin, IL, adjacent to the Gail Borden Library. For more information, please contact Justin Thomas at 312.814.7204 or email

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 
Your IDVA Calendar  


May 5         Cinco De Mayo 
May 7         Women In Service Symposium -  Chicago, IL


May 9         VBA Military Sexual Trauma Benefits Claims Webinar - Online


May 11       Mothers' Day


May 17       Armed Forces Day 


May 22-23  Veterans Forward: Job Readiness Training & Hiring Fair @ Lake - Chicago, IL 


May 26       Memorial Day - State Offices Closed


May 31       Illinois General Assembly Adjourns 


June 5        Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair - Peoria, IL


June 14      Flag Day and Army Birthday 


July 11       Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair - Springfield, IL 


 Events Subject to Change

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