Cook County Veterans Affairs - January 2022 Newsletter

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Cook County Seal - Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President

Veterans Affairs | January 2022

In this issue:

  • Letter from the Director
  • Organization to Know: Illinois Joining Forces
  • January Events in the Veterans Community

A Letter from the Director of Veterans Affairs Maj. Deanna "De" Love, USA, Ret.

Happy New Year Cook County Veterans!

Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to ensuring that you are informed of all of the valuable services and programs offered to you as a veteran. We want to make sure you are aware of the sunset of ComEd Helps Activated/Veteran Military Personnel (CHAMP) program. As of December 31, 2021, the program that assisted service members with their utility bills has been discontinued. However, ComEd still has two programs to assist customers in the event of hardship. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Percentage of Income Payment Plan are federally funded offered programs designed to assist customers with financial hardship. 

The Veterans Assistance Commission of Cook County (VACCC) offers utility assistance, housing assistance and many more lifelines to aide the veterans of Cook County during their time of need. The VACCC is located in the basement of the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center at 1100 S. Hamilton Ave., Chicago, IL 60612. For more information and to apply for services, please visit or call 312-433-6010.

Military retirees and disabled veterans will see the largest pay raise in decades beginning in 2022. Triggered by inflation and the annual adjustment to the federal Cost of Living Allowance, service members receiving disability payments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a 5.9% increase in their monthly payments. This increase is up from the annual adjustment that averaged around 1.5% for the last 10 years.

L Brooks

On Wednesday January 5, 2022, the nation bid farewell to our oldest U.S. veteran. World War II veteran Lawrence N. Brooks passed at the age of 112. Brooks was drafted into the U. S. Army in 1940 and was assigned to the 91st Engineer General Service Regiment. We are all grateful for his service.

Betty White

On Friday December 31, 2021 the nation bid farewell to esteemed actress and member of the American Women’s Voluntary Services (AWVS) Betty White. White joined the AWVS in 1941. Female volunteers took on roles as firefighters, ambulance and truck drivers and aerial photographers. White’s assignment consisted of driving a PX supply truck to barracks and attending dances for departing troops at night.

VFW 2868 Photos

In our community, veterans organizations continued to serve throughout the holidays. The Joshua Harris VFW Post 2868 dropped off toys collected for Toys for Tots. Post Commander Eric “Kermit” Morales and Senior Vice Commander Evamarie Duff are seen here with U.S. Marines dropping off toys collected by the post.

The PFC Ted Stempien VFW Post-8821 Auxiliary became a proud sponsor of four amazing kids of CubScout Pack #1221 of the 1st Cub Scout Troop. The scouts kicked the holidays off at VFW Post 8821 by opening with the Pledge of Allegiance, decorating the post tree and conducting a wreath ceremony at the post monument. The scouts also shared a meal with post members.

Stay connected by following the Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs Facebook page.

VFW 8821

January's Organization to Know

Spotlight on: Illinois Joining Forces

Since 2012, Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) has assisted service members, veterans and their families through their extensive network of resources. IJF was formed through an inter-governmental agreement between the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and Illinois Department of Military Affairs. Now IJF is a statewide network of public and private organizations working together to improve services for the veterans they serve.


IJF partners with organizations like the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the Duchossois Family Foundation to provide a wide array of services to Illinois service members. They provide connection to care coordination centers, to assist women veterans and aid homeless or at risk veterans. To learn more about IJF services or to seek assistance visit  or call 833-463-6453

Know an organization that’s serving the veterans of Cook County? Help spread the word and support! Email your submission for Cook County’s Organization to Know to

calendar icon showing a grid calendar with check marks on various days

January Veterans Events

Steger American Legion Post 521 Foxhole Fish Fry
Friday January 14, 2022,  4 – 7 p.m.
34 W. 34th St., Steger, IL 60475
For more information, call 708-754-2610 or visit

Marrs-Meyer American Legion Post 991 Live Music
Beginning Friday January 21, 2022 from 8 - 11 p.m.
For more information, call 708-448-6699 or visit

Calumet City VFW Post 8141
The post is suspending their Wednesday dinners until further notice due to COVID precautions.
For more information, call 708-754-2610 or visit

American Legion Post 690
Engraved Brick Sale Extension
Engraved bricks will be placed around the newly refurbished Howitzer cannon
Cost: $110 per brick
To order, visit
For more information, call 224-500-6787 or visit

Blues & Gym Shoes
A Female Veterans’ Event
Saturday, January 29, 2022 from 2 - 5 p.m.
Live Blues by Fernando Jones & My Band (free admission)
Knotty Luxe Jazz Bistro
3442 W 159th St., Markham, IL 60428
For more information and to RSVP, contact Yvette Jones at 312-798-9564.