CHICAGO – May 26, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David H. Petraeus to recognize Illinois Gold Star families at the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony honoring fallen servicemembers, and in kicking-off the City’s annual Memorial Day Parade. Governor Quinn was also presented with the 2012 Major General John A. Logan Patriot Award from the City of Chicago for his dedication to the well-being of Illinois servicemembers and their families.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the Major General John A. Logan Patriot Award, but the real heroes today are the brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom, and those who are still defending it today,” Governor Quinn said. “We must never forget their sacrifice and that of their families.”
Named after the founder of Memorial Day, the Major General John A. Logan Patriot Award is presented each year as part of the City of Chicago’s Memorial Day celebrations. This prestigious award is given to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership, patriotism and devotion to the men and women of America’s Armed Forces and the city of Chicago.
Like Major General Logan, who served as an Illinois legislator on both the state and federal levels, Governor Quinn has made commitments to Veteran’s affairs, servicemembers and their families one of his top priorities throughout his career in public service. He has led programs including the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program and the Veterans Cash lottery ticket, which has awarded more than $10 million to non-profit organizations across the state that provide health care and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, housing assistance, disability benefits and other services to Illinois Veterans.
As Lieutenant Governor, Governor Quinn championed the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund Act, establishing a fund to provide grants to families of Illinois National Guard members and Illinois residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who were called to active duty as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. These grants help servicemembers and their families with the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services and other expense they struggle to afford because a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty.
Governor Quinn launched “Operation Home Front” while he was Illinois State Treasurer to give National Guard members and reservists a tool informing them about their rights during the Gulf War. Most recently, the Governor has expanded Operation Home Front to be a place where active servicemembers and veterans can learn about the resources available to them and their families, and a place for the public to learn about different ways they can support our troops.