Illinois veterans

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Northern Illinois community members took to the streets to honor local veterans over the weekend.

It’s the fifth year local police and fire officials escorted a motorcade to several DeKalb County retirement homes. 

Residents of the facilities lined the sidewalk as the veterans’ names and service were read aloud. 

Robert Roe works at Pine Acres in DeKalb. He says it's important to raise spirits of the residents.

“We try and do things to keep our residents involved – involved in the community, and recognizing things that they’ve done in their lives," Roe said.

Office of the Illinois Attorney General

The Illinois Attorney General’s office recently released a guide outlining the rights of Illinois veterans and current members of the military.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan says it details a variety of provisions designed to assist them.  

"There's some different issues about their credit and what happens when someone's a victim of identity theft," she says.  "There are a lot of rights and benefits that service members and veterans have.  It's hard to figure them out.  That's why we tried to put them in one place."  

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

The Springfield cemetery containing the grave of President Lincoln now has a monument to Purple Heart recipients.  

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."

That quote, from Shakespeare's Henry V. is inscribed on the new granite monument.

It's also etched with a drawing of the medal -- a heart, emblazoned with a profile of George Washington, that hangs from a purple ribbon.

The Purple Heart is the military's oldest award, given to troops killed or wounded in combat.

  A new law allows members of the Illinois National guard to be considered veterans on their drivers’ licenses. WNIJ’s Chase Cavanaugh has more. 

The bill was signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner at an American Legion convention last week.  It allows members of the guard and reserve to receive a veteran designation on their state drivers licenses if their only period of active duty was their initial and annual training.  To prove this status, they need to present a certificate of discharge from their respective service branch to the Secretary of State.  


Ten people in western Illinois now have died from Legionnaires' disease after a state veterans home reported two new fatalities among its residents.

An outbreak first identified in late August has sickened 53 residents at the Quincy home, nine of whom died.  Four others in Quincy have been diagnosed with the illness, one of whom died. Officials say those cases aren't connected to the larger outbreak.