SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) honors Meosha M. Thomas, a Chicago resident and U.S. Navy veteran, as the Veteran of the Month for January 2013.
Thomas was honored today during a ceremony at the Washburne Culinary Institute on the Kennedy-King College Campus, Chicago, Ill. The Veteran of the Month award is presented to veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military and make a real difference in the lives of others.
“Meosha Thomas is a great example of our woman veterans and the value they add to our communities,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “Since leaving the Navy in 2006, she has consistently sought opportunities and venues to help other veterans and to make an impact. Her resilience, commitment and contributions to our veterans have been invaluable.”
As an Information Systems Technician for over 9 years, Thomas provided professional support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in a wide range of assignments in the Navy. Following her honorable medical retirement due to injuries sustained in 2006, Thomas has continued to serve her country, local community and fellow veterans in various leadership capacities, including serving as an Veteran Employment Specialist at the Illinois Department of Employment Security, providing veterans with critical transitional and career readiness services, and in 2012, entering the position of Veterans Services Specialist at Kennedy-King College.
“We congratulate Meosha Thomas on this well-deserved recognition of her contributions and advocacy on behalf of her fellow military veterans,” said Cheryl Hyman, Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago. “Meosha exemplifies the type of above-and-beyond commitment City Colleges of Chicago is making to serve and support our entire student veteran population.”
Thomas’ personal and professional achievements include:
• She was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two NATO Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbons, and the Navy Good Conduct Medal;
• In the veteran community, Thomas also made significant contributions in support of veterans and military personnel through her numerous organizational and committee memberships, including active involvement with National Women Veterans United, Disabled American Veterans, Student Veterans of America, the Veterans Higher Education Affinity Group, and S.A.L.U.T.E. Military Honor Society; and
• As a Veterans Services Specialist, she helped launch the Kennedy-King College Veterans Center and organized a number of commemorative ceremonies and informational forums, and she continues to provide expert guidance and support to a numerous veteran students, alumni and job-seekers.
About Veteran of the Month
The Veteran of the Month award highlights the work of community servants who are also military veterans. Each month the Department recognizes a different person or group that contributes to communities across the state of Illinois. To nominate a veteran for consideration, please visit IDVA’s website at veterans.illinois.gov to obtain guidelines and a nomination form.