Illinois General Assembly

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Full Text of SR0352  97th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Enough cannot be said or written to laud the
3honorable service that United States veterans who served in all
4branches of its military have performed in the defense of this
5nation and in securing its vital strategic interests throughout
6the world; and
7    WHEREAS, Veterans' families have sacrificed many long
8months separated from their loved ones or, worse yet, suffer
9from their permanent and devastating loss; many families bear
10the burden of having to care for a severely maimed or wounded
11returning veteran; this places psychological and financial
12stress on both veterans and family caregivers; many of them may
13not be aware of programs or benefits that may be available to
14provide post-traumatic stress disorder counseling, legal
15assistance, medical care, jobs, housing, education, and the
16support they need to prevent their frighteningly high rate of
17suicide; and
18    WHEREAS, Many veterans and their families are not receiving
19the help they earned, were promised, and are entitled by law;
20this applies to not only those veterans from this nation's
21current conflicts, but to the Vietnam-era vet, who was far more
22neglected than all previous military veterans; this nation owes
23an apology to this generation of fighting men and women and



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1must resolve that such shabby treatment of our military
2personnel will never happen again; and
3    WHEREAS, In a 2007 address, the Honorable Phil Hare, United
4States Congressman from Illinois' 17th District, noted that the
5State of Illinois ranks 48th in awarding disability claims made
6by veterans; he related the story of one Vietnam veteran who
7waited through 8 years of appeals for the veteran's disability
8award, having to start from scratch on several occasions;
9unfortunately, the veteran died before he collected any of the
10money to which he was entitled; and
11    WHEREAS, Whether one agrees with a particular conflict or
12not, these fighting men and women are doing what is required of
13them to fulfill their oath to defend our nation; when they
14return, they should be given all the respect and
15acknowledgement for their service that they deserve; more
16importantly, they should be provided with whatever they need to
17put their lives back together and be reintegrated into regular
18civilian life; and
19    WHEREAS, A referendum in support of full funding for the
20Veterans Administration had been initially placed on the ballot
21in the City of Chicago, followed by the Cook County Board
22placing the same question before the Cook County voters; this
23non-binding referendum was ultimately put before the voters in



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1the entire State of Illinois, where it garnered an unheard of
296% of the vote, showing an overwhelming voter sentiment for
3funding support for veterans and their families; and
4    WHEREAS, Our nation's veteran families, comprised of 26
5million veterans, 20 million wives, and 33 million mothers and
6fathers, make up approximately one third of this nation's
7population; it is incumbent that the citizens of this great
8State respect the immense sacrifice that has been made by these
9veterans and their families by providing them with their own
10media platform to assist them in finding the information to get
11the help they need; and
12    WHEREAS, Throughout our nation's history, the spirit of
13initiative and volunteerism has created a multiplicity of
14veteran's agencies and organizations that do great work on
15behalf of or directly providing services for veterans and their
16families; however, they are only able to help as much as their
17funding, and an awareness of their existence, can reach;
18veterans and their families have no idea that many of these
19programs are available, let alone how to access them; a
20Veterans cable television channel with a supporting web site
21would go far in raising awareness concerning these programs,
22consolidating communication, and making them easy to find so
23that services can be successfully delivered to those who are in
24desperate need of them; and



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1    WHEREAS, It is additionally incumbent upon this Body to
2endorse the concept of, and assist in finding funding for, a
3Veterans cable access channel that will provide programming
4aimed at this underserved population; the content would contain
5a viral video "One Stop Shop" with such shows as "John Marshall
6Law School Veteran's Law Clinic", "Finding a Job through the
7'Helmets to Hardhats' Project", or "Wounded Veterans and Their
8Families: Help Through The Military Order of Purple Hearts";
9such programming possibilities have never been available; the
10concept to provide such service for veterans and their families
11is unique; and
12    WHEREAS, Partnerships are possible with various
13educational institutions, such as Columbia College or
14Northwestern University, where media programs and facilities
15already exist; such partnerships would be beneficial for all,
16giving their students much needed experience and the various
17veteran organizations a production crew for their shows; there
18are unused cable channels as well as private and public
19resources available to support such a project; therefore, be it
21ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge the Cable
22Television and Communications Association of Illinois to look
23into, at its earliest convenience, the possibility of



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1facilitating the dedication of an unused cable channel to
2broadcast programs of, by, and for the United States military
3veteran; and be it further
4    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
5delivered to the Cable Television and Communications
6Association of Illinois.