BERWYN – Governor Pat Quinn spent Christmas Day with more than 100 servicemembers from the Great Lakes Naval Base at the City of Berwyn’s eighth annual “Christmas Day with the Sailors.” Governor Quinn was joined by Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero for a traditional holiday meal and presented awards to those who made the event possible.
“On Christmas Day – and every day – let’s keep our servicemembers and veterans in our hearts,” Governor Quinn said. “These heroes have given us the greatest gift of all in the sacrifices they make for us every day, not the least of which is being apart from family for the holidays. I salute all of the veterans and community members who are here today, giving their time on Christmas to serve a hot meal to these servicemembers who will not be home for the holidays.”
More than 100 sailors who could not go home are attending this year’s “Christmas Day with the Sailors” event, which is hosted by local veterans who understand the sacrifices that servicemembers make. The event is supported by local charities and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and features lunch, dinner music and a visit from Santa. Members of the local JROTC did the honor of posting and retiring colors.
The Governor’s Office has participated in “Christmas Day with the Sailors” every year since its inception, making this the eighth. Governor Quinn has made commitment to veterans, servicemembers and their families a top priority throughout his career. He led the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program that helps veterans transition back to their daily lives and the Welcome Home Heroes program which help supports Illinois servicemembers seeking home ownership.
As Lieutenant Governor, Quinn championed the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund Act, which established a fund to provide grants to families of Illinois National Guard members and Illinois residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who are called to active duty. These grants help servicemembers and their families with the costs of food, housing, utilities and other expenses when the wage-earner has left civilian employment for active military duty. The fund has distributed more than $15.1 million to 29,625 Illinois military families to assist with the financial burden at home.
For more information about these and other programs for our veterans, visit OperationHomefront.org or call the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs at (217) 782-6641 or (312) 814-2460.