Illinois Dept. of Veterans' Affairs Newsletter                      June 2014

From the Director  


The news from Iraq and the surrounding region in recent weeks has been especially discouraging for those of us who served there over the last decade-plus.  We at IDVA have been engaging with concerned veterans via email and our social media, responding to specific concerns and issues - mainly about available resources and counseling for those feeling overwhelmed.


In addition to the services and programs available from the federal VA Veterans Crisis Line (800-273-8255), IDVA sponsors the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program (IWAP).  IWAP provides free, confidential counseling for eligible Illinois veterans and their family members who may need additional help coping with their transition and their military experiences.  To learn more, or call 

1-866-554-4927, Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (CT).


Please know that you are not alone.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by the news from Iraq - or any other aspect of your military experience - reach out for help by calling IWAP or the VA's Veterans Crisis Line  (800-273-8255).  
Your service mattered then, and your well-being matters now.  We are here to help! 




Erica Borggren

Director, IDVA


 Illinois Joining Forces Offers

Military Immersion Training


Veterans!  Do you know of an organization that wants to do more for service members, veterans, and their families?


Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) is offering a dynamic and engaging 2-day Military Immersion Training event on July 23-24 at the Illinois National Guard's Marseilles Training Center. Through this training, IJF seeks to provide its member its member organizations - and other organizations interested in serving their veteran clients better - a better understanding of veterans' experiences and needs.



Those interested should start the registration process by taking the initial screening survey (or copy and paste into a new browser window).  Please note that this event is intended NOT for veterans but for individuals who work with organization that serve military members, veterans, and their families - or that want to in the future.


This hands-on training will give participants an interactive and invaluable "boots on the ground" experience and insight on how to better serve our veterans and service members.  


There is a $45 registration fee per person attending the training, which will be collected following the online registration.  This fee covers the costs of all meals, and boarding (barracks!) will be provided free at the Illinois National Guard training facility. Registration is limited to 100 participants and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.


To access the Training Agenda, please click here.


If you know of an organization that would benefit from this outreach, please let us know at    



For more information about Illinois Joining Forces or to become an IJF member organization, please visit the IJF website.

Veteran of the Month - June 2014

Herschel "Lucky" Luckinbill


The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) recognized Herschel Luckinbill as the Illinois Veteran of the Month at a ceremony at Aurora's Prisco Community Center on Monday, June 23, 2014.  Erica Borggren, Director, IDVA presented him the award on behalf of Governor Pat Quinn, which includes a framed proclamation as well as a State Flag.


"Lucky" Luckinbill's efforts in the greater Aurora area are well known and appreciated by his fellow veterans, the hundreds youth baseball players he coached for over 14 years, and his fellow Vietnam veterans.  Luckinbill championed the efforts to bring the Vietnam Moving Wall exhibit to Aurora in Nov. 2013 and was thanked by the Illinois General Assembly with a Resolution recognizing his efforts, and his service as a fundraiser and trip guarding for 25 Honor Flight trips for veterans to Washington DC.  Eva, his wife of 47 years, and their three children and six grandchildren were all present for the ceremony.


Veteran of the Month - July 2014 

Robert Krautstrunk 


The IDVA will recognizeRobert Krautstrunk as the Illinois Veteran of the Month for July 2014 on Friday, July 18,  at 1 p.m., at the Silver Stallion Restaurant, 1275 Lee St., Des Plaines, IL 60018. For more information, please contact  Victor Enriquez at or 312.814.7204. 


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 the IDVA website and learn more!


Your IDVA Calendar  


June 27     Marine Corps League State Convention - Springfield, IL
July 4         Independence DayState Offices Closed 


July 11       Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair - Springfield, IL 


  American Legion State Convention & Job Fair  - Springfield, IL 


July 12       Jewish War Veterans State Convention - Niles, IL


July 13       Veteran Stand Down 5k RUN!/Walk - A Safe Haven - Chicago, IL


July 23-24  IJF Military Immersion Training - Marseilles Training Center


Aug. 10      Veterans' Day at the Illinois State Fair  - Springfield, IL 


Aug. 24      Veterans Day at the DuQuoin State Fair - DuQuoin, IL 


Sept. 1       Labor Day State Offices Closed


Sept. 11     Patriot Day

 Events Subject to Change

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