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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 23, 2009

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Hosts Helping Our Hometown Heroes for American Airlines
Veterans’ resource fair held at O’Hare Airport for American Airlines Employees

CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) partnered with American Airlines to host a Helping Our Hometown Heroes Veterans’ resource fair at American Airlines offices at O’Hare Airport last week.

More than 150 American Airlines employees who are also military veterans participated in the resource fair, which assists Veterans in receiving information from federal, state and local organizations about the benefits they deserve and have earned. At least 10 percent of American Airlines’ employees in Chicago are veterans, according to Linda Kozma, chair of Americans’ Veteran Military Employee Resource Group.

“The Helping Our Hometown Heroes events are a great opportunity for our Veterans and their families to receive one-on-one assistance from professionals who know the resources available to help take care of our servicemembers,” Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Dan Grant said. “We were pleased to partner with American Airlines to provide this information for their employees, which include a significant population of Veterans.”

The Helping Our Hometown Heroes event ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, November 20 at American Airlines offices, and included informational booths, presentations, and one-on-one assistance from experts in a variety of areas including healthcare, employment, housing, education, and more.

In addition to IDVA, nearly a dozen federal, state and local agencies and organizations from throughout Cook County participated in the event including: Illinois State Treasurer’s Office, Illinois Troops to Teachers, DeVry University, Cook County Board of Review, Illinois Secretary of State’s office, and the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development, among other organizations.

“This was a very successful event,” Kozma said. “Roughly 10 percent of our workforce is veterans or active military, so our employees really appreciated the outreach and the useful information, and the participation was outstanding. IDVA is providing great resources for veterans in our community.”

IDVA hosts Helping Our Hometown Heroes events at locations statewide.  All local Veterans, family members, friends and neighbors are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information about setting up a Helping Our Hometown Heroes event in your community, please visit the IDVA website at www.veterans.illinois.gov.



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