News from the Reference Desk Category: Veterans

Celebrating Veterans Day

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, was first set as a U.S. legal holiday to recognize the end of World War I.  This “armistice” took place on November 11, 1918.  In 1938 legislation was past to formally dedicate November 11 to the “cause of world peace.”  With the urging of veterans organizations, the U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938, replacing “Armistice” with the word “Veterans.”  On June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans.  In 1968 Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October.  This move was highly unpopular so in 1975 the annual observance of Veterans Day was moved again to November 11.  A more complete history of this holiday can be found here at the website of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Many Mount Prospect natives have served in the military over the past 100 years.  There are some artifacts of this service in the online collection Dimensions of Life in Mount Prospect.  Among them are a World War I gas mask, a World War I uniform jacket and helmet, and the stole of a local World War II chaplain. 

On November 11 of this year, Mount Prospect will honor veterans in a free program to be held at Lions Park Recreation Center beginning at 10:30 AM.

One-Stop Veterans’ Benefits Help

Helping veteran and other service members find ways to connect to benefits is one of the services provided by the reference staff. Thanks to Executive Order 13426 (issued in March 2007) this previously somewhat confusing and laborious task got a whole lot easier. Order 13426 established the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors, which recommended the creation of a web portal that would provide service members, veterans, their families and authorized caregivers with a single sign-on, central access point to clinical and benefit data. This portal, now known as eBenefits, has arrived and is a great resource to research, find, access, and, in time, manage their benefits and personal information. It utilizes the National Resource Directory (NRD), a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs. Information contained within the NRD is from federal, state and local government agencies; veteran and military service organizations; non-profit and community-based organizations; academic institutions and professional associations that provide assistance to wounded warriors and their families. In addition it partners with and uses information from a variety of sources including Benefits.gov, Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), Defense.gov, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Military Health System, MilitaryHOMEFRONT, My HealtheVet (MHV), Social Security Online, and TRICARE. Vets et al. can create an account and access their current benefits status, download their DD-214, search by location and topic for employment and education opportunities designed specifically for veterans and service members, and more. The site offers detailed tutorials on how best to use it, broken down by the type of user (e.g. veteran, current service member, related family). It even shows you how to connect with other vets via Facebook and Twitter! Without a doubt, if you or someone in your family is a veteran or active service member, it’s well worth taking a look at eBenefits, either on your own or at the library with a reference librarian—make an appointment today and let us help you navigate this comprehensive resource!

The New SBA Patriot Express Loan & VA Mortgage Loan Financing Just For Veterans

SCORE, Village Bank & Trust, Harper College, Robert Morris University and SALUTE, Inc. have partnered to create an informational seminar on Veterans financing. The presentation will feature topics on home financing as well as small business loans. Discussion will include the Patriot Express Loan for new or expanding businesses. Dinner will be provided.

Please call or RSVP online
Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Event Phone: (847) 870-6020

Meadow Club
2950 West Golf Road
Rolling Meadows IL 60008

Illinois Veterans History Project

The Illinois Veterans History Project was launched by Secretary of State Jesse White to create a permanent record of the names and stories of Illinois war veterans and civilians who served our state and country during war, so that their contributions will be not be forgotten.

To participate in the Illinois Veterans History Project, veterans or their family members can obtain an Illinois Patriots Information Forms online, at driver services facilities or public libraries throught Illinois.

Veterans or their family members can complete this form and share their remembrances on the back or on a separate sheet of paper. Those who participate will receive an Official Certificate of Appreciation for their participation in this project.

State plans veterans job fair in Chicago 3/28/12

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is planning a job fair for veterans on March 28 in Chicago.

The department says it expects more than 100 Chicago-area businesses to send representatives to the four-hour job fair.

High numbers of veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars have had trouble finding work when they leave the service. Unemployment rates among veterans have been consistently higher than for the population in general the past few years.

In its announcement, the department says veterans should come to the fair dressed appropriately and with resumes.

The fair will be at The Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue starting at 9 a.m.

Other online resources for veterans in a job search include:

VetJobs

MilitaryHire.com

U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs recruitment website

National Veterans Association

Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs assists veterans, their dependents and survivors in obtaining the benefits they are entitled to under the laws of the United States, and the State of Illinois or any other governmental agency, through its forty-three Veterans' Services Offices located statewide; to evaluate and approve veterans' education and training programs available at colleges, universities and vocational training centers in Illinois, to provide skilled nursing and domiciliary care for eligible veterans; and administer State grants and benefits to eligible Illinois veterans.

The guidebook, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Veterans, is available online.