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IRAQ - Share your thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rep. Dave Loebsack   
Friday, 20 June 2014 08:34

Dear Friend,

As you may have recently seen in the news, sectarian violence has dramatically increased between warring factions in Iraq. As a military parent and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am closely following the situation and have deep concerns about the use of troops in Iraq. While there are many ideas about how involved the United States should be, I want to know what you think.

Take this quick poll and tell me your opinion.

I have traveled to Iraq multiple times to meet with the troops and receive on the ground briefings from the commanders who were leading the war. I believe that when United States troops left Iraq, we set the stage for the Iraqi government to make their own decisions. I am disappointed in the failure of Iraq’s current leaders for not creating a more inclusive and peaceful partnership.

I will continue to monitor the situation and hope that you will take a quick poll to let me know your thoughts.


Dave Loebsack
Iowa's Second District

PS- Your voice matters. Please click here to take the poll.

Governor Pat Quinn Statement on the Passing of Lisa Radogno PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Katie Hickey   
Friday, 20 June 2014 08:32

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement on the passing of Lisa Marie Radogno, daughter of Illinois State Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno:

“There are no words in the English language to comfort a parent who loses a child.

“My deepest and most heartfelt condolences go out to Leader Christine Radogno and her family during this extremely difficult time.

“It is my hope that Lisa’s purposeful life and the cherished memories that Christine, Nunzio and their daughters have of her will help relieve some of the pain in the days ahead.”


Governor Quinn Statement on the Observance of Juneteenth PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Katie Hickey   
Thursday, 19 June 2014 09:05

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement on Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States:

“Juneteenth is a day to remember our past and embrace the freedom received by so many on June 19, 1865.

“Juneteenth reminds us of the struggle of enslaved men and women who were finally free and the strength of those today who dedicate themselves to the fight for equal rights. This day has become a tribute to African-American heritage and to the unwavering human spirit.

“Although this observance has become a global celebration and commemoration, Illinois is a special place to celebrate Juneteenth.  It is a home to countless civil rights activists, and a vibrant and historic culture of African American arts.

“I encourage all to take part in commemorating this special day.”

In 2003, Illinois passed a resolution making the third Saturday of June a “day of observance” called “Juneteenth National Freedom Day.” Celebrations are planned this week in many Illinois communities including Aurora, Champaign, Chicago, Kankakee, Pembroke Township, Quincy and Waukegan.


Simon to Girls State: We need more women to be trailblazers in government PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ken Lowe   
Thursday, 19 June 2014 08:58

CHARLESTON — Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will officially swear in the new members of Eastern Illinois University’s Girls State student government in a 7:30 p.m. ceremony tomorrow. Simon, the second woman to hold the position of Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, will also deliver a speech about the importance of women running for office and being a part of the legislative process.

The American Legion Illini Girls State is an EIU program that, since the 1950s, has given young women the chance to participate in a microcosm of state and local government. Students run for offices like governor and mayor, are sworn in and craft legislation. Simon’s father, Paul Simon, then a state senator, was a regular speaker at the program during the 1950s. Other speakers from state government have included notable female officeholders like former Lt. Governor Corrine Wood, as well as Govs. James Thompson and Jim Edgar.

The ceremony will take place in the Dvorak Auditorium of the Doudna Fine Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University, 1860 Seventh Street.

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

DATE: Thursday, June 19

LOCATION: Dvorak Auditorium, Doudna Fine Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University, 1860 Seventh Street


How to Fulfill Something Missing: Research on Lost Loved Ones PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:54
4 Tips for Recovering Lost Relationships

The loss of a child is the worst experience of a lifetime, say many parents; but, for children, the loss of a parent can lay the foundation of a lifetime of grievances, says Karolyn Rogers.

“I was only 5 when I lost my father and, while there’s no good time to lose a loved one, it was a tender age to lose him; the circumstances of his death – and how my family dealt with it – left a palpable void,” says Rogers, author of the new book, “When Daddy Comes Home,” (, which details her journey of healing through researching her father’s death while serving his country in World War II.

The way her family dealt with the devastating loss was by not talking about it, she says.

“I simply adored my daddy, Pfc. Tom T. Wilmeth, and I’d never received closure on his passing. I lived knowing that my children and grandchildren would never know their granddaddy, and I probably would have made better decisions earlier in my life if I had him growing up – or, at least, better understood his passing,” says Rogers, who reviews how researching his life and death finally provided what was missing in her heart.

•  Pay attention to spiritual signals. On Feb. 17, 2001, Rogers was brushing her teeth, hurriedly trying to get to a friend’s wedding on time, when, “I remember it clearly; out of nowhere, a white light surrounded me,” she says. “I heard something tell me that I was supposed to tell what it was like to be an orphan with a widowed mother as a result of war.”

•  Start investigating what you know. While she knew her mother had two boxes of letters from her father that were kept throughout the years, it felt like there was an invisible boundary between Rogers and those letters. “This exemplifies why so many remain unfulfilled decades after the loss of a loved one; it’s like there’s a scab there that’s protecting you and others,” she says. The process of reviewing the letters was so emotionally fraught that it took nearly a year to complete.

•  Ask yourself, “Are there others in my position?” Pfc. Wilmeth died during the waning days of WWII – in Patton’s secret Third Army – a surprise Rogers found out while finally doing the research in her 60s. She figured out she was one of 183,000 American orphans from the war; she wasn’t alone and was able to reach out to many others. Even those family members involved in isolated missing-person cases can find support groups and possibly be guided to helpful resources.

•  Preserve materials involving your loved one. Over the past century, the media for storing family memories have changed and changed again. They include pen-and-paper letters, emails, and taped voice recordings and videos, as well as digital records. A basic internet search will lead browsers to local and national companies that can professionally save and restore old materials. There are also companies that can help preserve digital files, although a basic external hard drive is an easy way to save them.

About Karolyn Rogers

Karolyn Rogers lost her father when she was a small child. Pfc. Tom T. Wilmeth was killed during Gen. Patton’s advance on Berlin in the waning days of World War II. The loss devastated her family and left Rogers with a lingering void, until she began researching her father’s life. She learned her dad earned the Purple Heart and many other decorations, he was a loving and caring husband and father, as evidenced by the many letters he sent from Europe to his family in Oklahoma. With the hope of inspiring others who’ve suffered loss, Rogers has built a chapel in memory of Pfc. Tom T. Wilmeth and has recently published “When Daddy Comes Home,” (

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