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Senate Week in Review: September 26-30, 2016 - Honoring Vets and Their Families

During the week, residents paused to recognize the inaugural Gold Star Family Day in Illinois and a new program was announced that asks Illinois residents to serve those who served in the military.

Gold Star Family Day Recognized in Illinois   
On Sept. 26, Illinois honored those families who have lost a loved one while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  Gold Star Family Day, which will now be celebrated the last Monday of each September, was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner in July.  This new day of recognition comes the day after Gold Star Mother’s Day, which is currently observed the last Sunday of every September.  
 
Sponsored by Senator Dave Luechtefeld, Gold Star Family day is a time for those surviving relatives of deceased military personnel to be recognized for their sacrifice and loss.  This day of recognition also provides Illinois residents with an opportunity to pause and reflect on the freedom and safety they enjoy, while at the same time honoring the sacrifice those men and women made to ensure America’s safety endures.  
 
Serving Those Who Served
A new statewide program, called Serving Those Who Served, asks Illinoisans to participate in volunteer service projects focused on benefiting Illinois veterans. This is the first year for this program, which will run through the month of November, and is planned to become an annual event.  

“The Serving Those Who Served program is a call to action,” said Gov. Rauner. “We’re asking for residents from across the state to come together and volunteer their time and energy on service projects to thank veterans and their families for their willingness to defend us. This is an opportunity to not only honor these men and women, but also give back to those who have given so much. 

Veteran organizations can register a project for volunteers to assist with throughout November.  Illinoisans can look for a project in their area and sign up to volunteer for that project.  To register a project or to volunteer for a veteran project, go to www.illinois.gov/veterans and click on “Serving Those Who Served.”  Follow the prompts on the page and you will be registered either with a project for your veterans’ organization, or to volunteer and help with that project.

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