WHEATON – November 11, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today honored Illinois’ Veterans and servicemembers at a Veterans Day ceremony at Wheaton North High School to honor the memory of Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller. Staff Sgt Miller, a Wheaton native, posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor earlier this year for his heroics while serving in Afghanistan.
“On this solemn day of remembrance for those who have selflessly and heroically given this country their last full measure of devotion, we say thank you,” said Governor Quinn. “I salute Staff Sgt. Robert Miller and all of our Veterans - there is no greater hero than one who is willing to lay down their life for our country.”
Last month, Governor Quinn proclaimed Oct. 6 as “Sgt. Robert J. Miller Day” in Illinois, the same day Miller posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor – the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force given to an individual serving in the United States Armed Services. A graduate of Wheaton North High School, Miller was killed Jan. 25, 2008 in Barikowt, Afghanistan while saving the lives of his Special Forces team and 15 Afghan soldiers.
Governor Quinn today also highlighted a number of programs that he has supported that benefit Illinois’ Veterans, servicemembers and their families:
- In May, Governor Quinn opened the first Fisher House in Illinois for families of wounded servicemembers in May on the campus of the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. The Fisher House program is a unique public-private partnership that provides housing at little or no cost for family members of military personnel receiving medical care at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers around the world;
- In June, Governor Quinn signed the Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act to allow counties throughout Illinois to create special judicial courts for Veterans who may have mental health or substance abuse disorders; and
- In July, Governor Quinn signed legislation to expand the Family Military Leave Act. Starting Jan. 1, the act will be expanded to include adult children and grandparents of active duty servicemembers to receive unpaid leave before being called to active duty.
“Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, Illinois is at the forefront nationwide in providing benefits and services to Veterans that they are entitled to receive,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Dan Grant. “On Veterans Day, as a nation, we commemorate the sacrifice of servicemembers. In Illinois, with the outstanding services provided, we honor it year-round.”
For more information about programs for our Veterans, visit www.operationhomefront.org or call the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs at 217-782-6641 or 312-814-2460.