CHICAGO - As Illinois communities begin to celebrate Independence Day, Lt. Gov. Quinn discussed ways citizens can support troops overseas who suffer from summertime heat, which averages 111 degrees in Iraq and 98 degrees in Afghanistan, and promoted Lisle-based Operation Support Our Troops, on Friday, July 2, 11:00 a.m..
“As we enjoy our hotdogs and fireworks this weekend, we need to remember the 159,000 service
men and women currently overseas protecting the very independence we are celebrating here at home,”
Quinn said. “Let’s help protect our troops from the extreme summer heat by sending care packages
through Operation Support Our Troops or visiting OperationHomeFront.org to find out other ways to
Operation Support Our Troops was started by a military mother from Rhode Island as a non-political
effort to show gratitude to the troops overseas. The military families that run the organization send out “care packages” filled with much-needed supplies. Community organizations, individuals, schools and others can sponsor a box by buying supplies and paying for shipping, which must be done through Operation Support Our Troops for security reasons.
Quinn was joined by Debbie Rickert and Joanne Bradna, Operation Support Our Troops members,
and Berwyn business leaders who are coordinating “Berwyn Patriotic Week” as a way to raise money for both the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund and Operation Support Our Troops.
Quinn was also joined by Principal John LaRoche and students Drew Adduci, Catherine Amero and
Katie McDonald from St. Leonard School in Berwyn who were presented with an award and state flag by Quinn this May for their two-year drive to send care packages and letters to Illinois troops overseas.
“We salute young patriots such as the enterprising students at St. Leonard School in Berwyn who showed their appreciation for the troops by organizing a successful red, white and blue lollypop sale to benefit the Military Family Relief Fund,” Quinn said. “We appeal to all Illinois businesses, community groups, residents and students to follow their lead, and lend a hand to the families of Illinois’ citizen soldiers.”
The Illinois Military Family Relief Fund was set up last year to aid families of National Guard members and reservists. More than $1.3 million has been distributed to 2,500 families to help with rent, utility bills and other expenses. Quinn’s office runs a website, www.operationhomefront.org
describing how citizens can help the troops. Having registered more than 7.2 million hits, the site is among the most frequented military sites in government.
Operation Support Our Troops headquarters is open from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. every Saturday.