name of org                                                                       


info for veterans


August 5, 2011

Governor Quinn Announces August 7 Purple Heart Day in Illinois
Annual Observance Will Honor and Remember Illinois Servicemembers Wounded or Killed in Action

CHICAGO – August 5, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation establishing Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day in Illinois. House Bill 1537 designates Aug. 7 as an annual day to honor and remember those in the military who have been wounded or killed in battle and honored with a Purple Heart. Since the legislation will not take effect until 2012, Governor Quinn also issued a proclamation to ensure that observance of Purple Heart Day will begin in 2011.

“Men and women of the U.S. military, especially those that sacrificed life or limb, deserve the honor and respect of all Americans,” Governor Quinn said. “I am proud to remember our Veterans by adding this ceremonial day for those who bravely served and protected the United States.”

“The Purple Heart is an honor available to all, but desired by none,” Daniel Finn said, State Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration still awarded to members of the United States military. It was established by General George Washington on August 7, 1782. Initially called the Badge of Military Merit, the Purple Heart is a decoration awarded to any member of the Armed Services who has been wounded or killed in action. Since World War I, nearly two million Purple Hearts have been awarded to combat veterans, including at least 42,000 from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

House Bill 1537 was sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). It takes effect Jan 1.

From Department of Veterans Affairs Website:  DoD Re-evaluating Retirement Determinations for Some Veterans

The DoD Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) is re-evaluating Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) and Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) disability ratings for some Veterans medically separated between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2009, to ensure a correct disability retirement determination was made. Veterans who received a combined disability rating of 20 percent or less and were not found eligible for retirement can apply to have their MEB/PEB disability rating reviewed for fairness, consistency, and accuracy. Former reserve members with greater than 20 years of total federal military service but fewer than 20 years of active duty, who meet the above criteria, are also eligible to apply. Learn more about the PDBR and how to apply. Questions on the PDBR can be sent to

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has successfully deployed a new automated system that is delivering faster, more accurate payments to Veterans attending school under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Click here for more information. 

Illinois Veterans have many benefits available to them.  Illinois is currently the only State that pays for tuition for either undergraduate 
or graduate study at all Illinois public universities and community colleges.  Visit the following website to learn more:

Or contact the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

The State of Illinois also provides assistance to Veterans in many counties through the Veterans Assistance Commission.

The Veterans Assistance Commission is a separate County Governmental Agency that is operated by and for veterans.  The Commission 
provides needed services to military veterans and their families.  
It is designed to provide needed services to eligible veterans and families 
according to written standards adopted and applied consistently by the Veterans Assistance Commission.  
Advocacy services are provided 
to all veterans in those counties having a Veterans Assistance Commission.

The veteran MUST provide "proof" of their military discharge (DD214 or equivalent).

Examples of some of the services are:

Provides transportation for veterans to and from the VA hospitals and clinics

Provides advocacy services to veterans and their families

Provides general and emergency financial assistance for basic living needs for honorably discharged veterans and their dependents

Provides burial services for indigent veterans

Helpful links:

Illinois State Department of Veterans Affairs

Illinois Veterans Assistance Commission

Illinois Veterans Bonus Application

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

National Association of Veteran Service Officers

Veterans Service Organization Links; e.g., American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, etc.
Click here for information on getting replacement medals.