Standing (left to right): Jack Picciolo, Will County VAC President; Gabriella Burns, Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans; Donna Morsovillo, Operation Welcome You Home, Erik Papineau, Will County VAC Veterans Service Officer; Mae Ayaz, Aurora University/AllenForce intern; Donna Sebok, AllenForce; Kristi McNichol, Will County VAV Superintendent. Seated: State’s Attorney James Glasgow with AllenForce Therapy Dog Sage.
Veterans throughout Will County will be receiving more than 2,300 handmade valentines crafted by children through Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow’s third annual “Valentines for Veterans” initiative. The State’s Attorney delivered the valentines to the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission and other local veterans organizations to provide to members of our veterans community.
“This program gives our local children the opportunity to thank these courageous men and women for their service to this nation,” Glasgow said. “The outpouring of handmade valentines demonstrates how much our veterans are appreciated by all of us. The program is also a wonderful way to teach children about the important contributions made by our veterans.”
Kristi McNichol, Superintendent of the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission, said the valentines mean a great deal to local veterans.
“It means so much to the veterans we serve when they are remembered on special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day,” McNichol said. “Especially during the pandemic, many of our veterans have felt particularly isolated. These valentines demonstrate to our veterans how much they are valued.”
In addition to the Will County VAC, organizations distributing the valentines include AllenForce, whose mission is to foster a successful transition for veterans and their families through health, fitness, and recreation; Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans, dedicated to ending veteran homelessness and empowering at-risk veterans and their families to become productive members of their communities; and Operation Welcome You Home, which honors and provides assistance and support to local veterans.
Schools participating in this year’s program include:
- Grand Prairie Elementary School, Frankfort
- Chelsea Middle School, Frankfort
- St. Joseph School, Lockport
- St. Andrew the Apostle School, Romeoville
- Eisenhower Academy, Joliet
- Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, Joliet
- Edna Keith Elementary School, Joliet
- Woodland Elementary School, Joliet
- Gompers Junior High School, Joliet
- M.J. Cunningham Elementary School, Joliet
- Taft Elementary School, Joliet
- Pershing Elementary School, Joliet
- Carl Sandburg Elementary School, Joliet
- Sator Sanchez Elementary School, Joliet
- Forest Park Individual Education School, Joliet
- Farragut Elementary School, Joliet
- Eisenhower Academy, Joliet
- St Joseph Catholic School, Manhattan
- Dirksen Junior High School, Joliet
- St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School, Joliet
- Summit Hill Jr. High School, Frankfort Square
- Mary Queen of Heaven School, Elmhurst
The Boys & Girls Club of Joliet also participated in the program.
“It is wonderful to see the creativity and effort these children put into sending personal messages to our veterans through the Valentines for Veterans program, and we are grateful to everyone who participated,” Glasgow said.
A strong supporter of our veterans, Glasgow filed the petition that established the Will County’s Veterans and Servicemembers Court to provide critical counseling and treatment to those who served our nation and struggle with mental health and substance abuse disorders. He also provided a new ADA-accessible shuttle bus and a van for use by the VAC to transport Will County veterans to the VAC Clinic and Hines VA Hospital where they receive necessary medical services, and drafted groundbreaking legislation signed into law last year to give State’s Attorneys throughout Illinois the authority to provide legal assistance to their local Veterans Assistance Commissions.