Military & Veterans News
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Rep. Mike Smiddy   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:01
PORT BYRON, IL – State Rep. Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) invites residents to participate in an interactive webinar on state employment for persons with disabilities on Wednesday, February 27 from 10 AM to 11:30 AM at his office, located at 201 N. Main St., Unit 2 in Port Byron.

“The job market can be tough to crack for everyone, and for people with disabilities the challenges can, unfortunately, be even greater,” said Smiddy. “Eliminating barriers for persons with disabilities to access the job market and obtain good-paying, long-term employment is extremely important to the overall economic health of the state and the future of many individuals in our area.”

Smiddy will be in Springfield on February 27th, as the General Assembly will be in session. However, he felt it was important to provide local disabled veterans access to an online workshop to help in their job searches. The webinar features presentations on state programs that can help connect persons with disabilities with employment resources, including Illinois Job Link, a web-based tool that connects Illinois employers with employees; the Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitative Services; and the Successful Disability Opportunities Program to expand state work opportunities for disabled workers. Attendees will be able to ask questions through the webinar’s chat function.

“I am always looking for new, innovative ways to create jobs in our communities and will continue to work with local business leaders and citizens to develop the economic policies that will put our neighbors back to work,” Smiddy said. “Even though I can’t be present, I want to make sure that all area residents know they can turn to me and my office for assistance.”

For more information on employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, visit Work 4 Illinois at or the Illinois Department of Employment Security at

To RSVP for the webinar, contact Smiddy’s office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (309) 848-9098, or toll free at (855) 243-4988.


Loebsack, Jones Announce Co-Chairmanship of House Military Depot and Arsenal Caucus PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 15 February 2013 15:24

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-2) and Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) announce their co-chairmanship of the House Military Depot, Arsenal, Ammunition Plant, and Industrial Facilities Caucus for the 113th Congress.  This bipartisan group of House members will be dedicated to policy issues that affect military industrial facilities, including aviation depots, arsenals, ammunition plants, shipyards, and energetic material production facilities. The caucus will also educate other members of Congress on matters of importance to the military depot and industrial facility community, as well as advocate for necessary changes in policy.

Congressman Loebsack represents Rock Island Arsenal and the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant. Rock Island Arsenal is home to the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, the Department of Defense’s only multi-purpose and vertically integrated metal manufacturer.  The Arsenal is also home to critical logistics, contracting, and mobilization commands, including Army Sustainment Command, Joint Munitions Command, Army Contracting Command-Rock Island, and First Army.  The Iowa Army Ammunition Plant produces and delivers component assembly and medium and large caliber ammunition to US Joint Forces.

“I’m proud to co-chair the House Military Depot, Arsenal, Ammunition Plant, and Industrial Facilities Caucus with my friend, Congressman Jones (NC-03).  I strongly believe that arsenals such as Rock Island Arsenal, ammunition plants like the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, depots, and other organic industrial facilities are essential to our national security.  As a military parent, I’m thankful for the workforce at our organic industrial facilities that work every day to put equipment in the hands of our troops.  I look forward to continuing to partner with Congressman Jones and the Caucus membership to strongly advocate for our organic industrial facilities,” said Loebsack.

Congressman Jones represents Fleet Readiness Center East (FRC East), a military depot service provider located at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station specializing in support of Marine aircraft, engines and components.  FRC East is the only source of repair within the continental United States for many jet engines and rotary wing engines, as well as turbofan vectored thrust engines.

“As a longtime member and co-chair of the House Military Depot and Industrial Facilities Caucus, I have worked hard to ensure that the industrial capacity of our military depots to regenerate equipment is at a maximum.  Military depots and other industrial facilities, like Fleet Reserve Center East, play a vital role in the health of our Armed Services and allow our fighting forces to continue their mission without delay.  I look forward to working with Congressman Loebsack (IA-02) to create a stronger, more resilient system,” said Jones.


News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Duane Miller   
Friday, 15 February 2013 13:05

It takesabout $80,000 to fully support just one Honor Flight. $30,000 of that is paid for by the Guardians that accompany the veterans and that leaves just $50,000 to sponsor a flight.

The Edward W. Knapper VFW Post 6174 is hoping that through the residents, various organizations, and businesses in the Eldridge and North Scott area that we can raise that amount to be able to say that we, as a community have fully funded one Honor Flight.

The post has opened an account at DuTrac Credit Union in Eldridge that will receive deposits from the community. If one is depositing a check, it needs to be made out to either VFW Post 6174 (with notation to HONOR FLIGHT) or it can be made out to Honor Flight of the Quad Cities, as they have established a local account as well.

Honor Flight of the Quad Cities is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization. Your donation is tax deductible.  For background information:

We are looking for donations both large and small. From pocket change to memorials, all donations are welcome.

We are looking for any fundraising source that may be out there; classroom projects, neighborhood donations, sewing circles, book clubs, Sunday School collections, service organizations, and collectors clubs are all possibilities.

We will have containers placed at various businesses around town. We urge anyone that wishes to have a container placed in their place of business to call Duane Miller at 285-8613 and he will get one there for you. This would be a great way to honor any veteran; whether it be your brother, sister, spouse, parent, grandparent, or classmate.

Our ultimate goal is to get all WWII veterans out to Washington DC to see their memorial. The number of WWII vets is diminishing every day. Korean Vets are now eligible and hopefully Honor Flights will continue long enough to be able to include Vietnam Vets as well.

The local VFW is passing along 100% of all donations. We have no administration fees to deduct from your generosity. What we take from this project is the satisfaction of getting more veterans recognized for their service to our country.

Please contact Duane Miller for any additional information you may need.

Loebsack Discusses Impact of Sequestration on Arsenals and Depots PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Friday, 15 February 2013 12:59

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today questioned the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Deputy Secretary of Defense at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the impacts of sequestration on our military.  Loebsack continued to express his opposition to letting the automatic, across the board spending cuts contained in sequestration take effect. He has concerns about the affects of sequestration on national security, including the operations at the Rock Island Arsenal and the Iowa Army Ammunition Plants.  He questioned General Ray Odierno, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, about the impact of these arbitrary cuts on the Army’s arsenals and depots.

“I was opposed to these arbitrary, across the board cuts, known as sequestration, since they were first proposed last year.  They do not make sense for our budget and they certainly do not make sense for our nation’s defenses.  I strongly believe we must reduce the unsustainable deficit, but this is not the way to do it. I am greatly concerned about the long-term effects of sequestration on our readiness and the workforce at our nation’s arsenals and depots, including the Rock Island Arsenal and the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant.  The organic industrial base and its workforce are critical to our readiness and ability to respond to a national security contingency.  As a military parent, we have to ensure our troops serving overseas have the best equipment available to them.  We cannot allow these cuts to take place,” said Loebsack.

Video of the discussion can be found here:


Commander welcomes home returning vets PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Joe March   
Friday, 15 February 2013 11:47
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 13, 2013) -- American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz responded to President Obama's State of the Union Address Tuesday with a word of welcome to 34,000 troops the president said would be coming home from Afghanistan this year.
"American Legion service officers stand ready to support our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and help them understand their VA benefits. American Legion-sponsored job fairs and business workshops await their return, offering opportunities to convert military experience into successful careers. American Legion posts and individual members are available for those who come home wondering where to turn for camaraderie and support. That is what we do. It is who we are."
Koutz said he looks forward to meeting with President Obama later this month to discuss specific ways The American Legion can help DoD, VA, veterans and their families make the adjustment to postwar lives.
"No one does more than The American Legion to help returning veterans," Koutz said. "This organization was built on that very concept. As the president has said in past speeches, there is no reason the returning veterans of the Global War on Terrorism cannot drive the U.S. economy forward, as it did after the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 -- which The American Legion authored as World War II was ending -- and build another half-century of U.S. economic prosperity."
Veterans can and will be essential to the U.S. economic recovery, Koutz explained. "There was no doubt from the State of the Union Address that our nation's highest priority is the improvement of our economy. Veterans have proven in the past that they can be the catalysts.
“The American Legion is dedicated to convincing employers, many of whom already know, that veterans can once again lead our nation to a new era of economic performance and hope. We look forward to working with VA and DoD to ease the transition process, provide our newest generation of veterans with the support they need, and rebuild our economy as a nation. It is really the least we can do for those who have stood strong against the threat of terrorism and kept it from our shores for over a decade."

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