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GALENA–The Veterans Assistance Program was stablished in 2018 to alleviate financial burdens of county veterans and their families.
Within the Illinois Public Acts is the Military Assistance Act. Its provisions include that money to financially assist veterans and their families be made available by counties within the state. These funds are to be managed and distributed by members of local veteran service organizations and supervised by county officials.
The local program is administered by Tom Lobacz, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America; George Petitgout, commander of the Galena VFW; and Art Ricker, past commander of the Galena American Legion. They presented
the committee with activities of the program. Several veterans have benefitted by the program in the past year with payments made directly to vendors that were in arrears.
It was noted by the administrators that thankfully the majority of veterans in the county are financially sound, do not know of the program or do not come forward. John Schultz, chairman of the committee, added, “There may be another reason. They are too proud to ask for help.”
In an effort to get information to veterans, packets have been sent to county food pantries, libraries, city officials and churches. Presentations have also been made at service organization meetings.
This program is not a charity. Veterans should know these funds are part of the compensation due them for service and sacrifice. Applications can be obtained online at the Jo Daviess County Veterans Assistance Program Facebook page or by calling 563-580-3733.