MONMOUTH – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today named Monmouth resident and U.S. Navy Veteran Cheri Stanton as the State of Illinois’ November 2009 “Veteran of the Month” for her unwavering dedication to the state’s military heroes and for service to local community.
The “Veteran of the Month” award is a distinction that is given monthly to military Veterans who give back to their community and continue to serve other Veterans. IDVA Director Dan Grant presented Stanton with the prestigious award this morning during a ceremony at American Legion Post 136, 1110 N. 11th Street, Monmouth.
“Cheri Stanton is a tireless public servant and a true friend to Illinois Veterans,” IDVA Director Grant said. “She distinguished herself through service to the United States Navy, and continues to serve Veterans in her community and statewide through the American Legion.”
Stanton served in the United States Navy from 1967-1969 at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL, working in Air Operations where she processed flight plans. She became a schoolteacher following military service and retired in 2009 as a 3rd grade teacher at Willits Primary School in Monmouth after 34 years of service to Monmouth-Roseville School District 238.
Stanton is Commander of American Legion Post 136 in Monmouth and has also served as president of the American Legion Post 136 Auxiliary. She has also served as 14th District Commander and 3rd Division Commander for the American Legion.
Stanton is the chair of the state’s children and youth programs for the American Legion and works with Operation Military Kids. She spearheaded The Pillowcase Project, which makes picture pillowcases for deployed troops and their children. Each pillowcase has an iron-on transfer picture of the deployed service member, and Stanton said the pillowcases bring comfort to children who are missing their parents. Since 2006, The Pillowcase Project has made and delivered more than 10,000 pillowcases.
“I’m very humbled and grateful for this honor from the State of Illinois and from Vets Affairs,” Stanton said. “I’m not one for individual accolades. I believe that if we all work together as a team and we all believe in serving the community together, we all win.”
The “Veteran of the Month” award highlights the work of community activists who are also military Veterans. Each month the Department recognizes a different person or group that contributes to the betterment of communities across the state of Illinois. To nominate a “Veteran of the Month,” please visit IDVA’s website at veterans.illinois.gov or call IDVA at (312) 814-5538 to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.