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Fox Valley Veterans Day events
Daily Herald Staff Report

Marine Col. Herman Stacy Clardy III will be the special guest speaker at "The Elgin Experience" movie meeting on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

 

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Published: 11/10/2008 12:12 AM

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Algonquin: Veterans who are newly discharged, displaced, disabled, homeless or otherwise in transition are invited to attend Stand Down from 9 a.m. on Nov. 10 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 11, Veterans Day at YMCA Camp Algonquin, 1889 Cary Road, Algonquin. Services include medical screenings and information about other VA services by North Chicago VA Medical Center, employment services by Reynaldo Infante of Veterans Employment Training Service (VETS)/Department of Labor through the Illinois Department of Employment Security, referrals for housing assistance and other services by Mike Iwanicki and Cheryl Kirsch of the McHenry County Veterans Assistance Commission, legal counseling by attorney Jeffrey Antonelli, referrals for dental services by local dentists, and referrals for eye care services by Northwest Eye Care of Algonquin. NASA Education's Veterans Service Officer Eric Behler will assist veterans in applying for VA disability claims and other VA benefits, state health insurance and DD214s.

Veterans can register for medical care at North Chicago VA Medical Center at the Stand Down. Information on community services for homeless and low-income individuals will be provided by Susan Giannone, the constituent services advocate from Congresswoman Melissa Bean's office and Cheryl Schmid, the constituent services advocate from Congressman Donald Manzullo's Office. The Vet Center will meet with veterans and distribute information about services.

NASA Education will accept applications for participation in Project Fresh Start, a comprehensive workforce and community reintegration program for U.S. veterans who are displaced, disabled, homeless or otherwise in transition. NASA Education will accept applications for its new 32-bed transitional housing facility for homeless veterans. Local employers Liberating Solutions and Vet-Tek will be on-site to offer employment opportunities. NASA Education's caseworker and substance abuse counselor will perform intake evaluations.

Veterans will receive a number of amenities including free haircuts by SportClips and Fantastic Sams. Meals and the use of shower facilities will be provided on both days, and overnight shelter on Nov. 10. Community individuals and organizations have donated new and gently used clothing and shoes, new underwear and socks, and toiletries.

Partial funding over the past two years for the Stand Down has been provided through grants from the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS)/U.S. Department of Labor, and the HelpAmerica Foundation. Donations are still needed in the form of cash, new and gently used clothes for men and women, baked goods or other desserts, toiletries, fast food gift certificates in small denominations and gift cards from supermarkets. All of this wouldn't be possible without the generosity of the local restaurants providing food to assist in serving wonderful, fulfilling meals to our guests.

Transportation will be provided to the Stand Down for the veterans from various pickup points and train stations throughout the community.

Call NASA Education at (866) 338-4968 toll-free for details on the Stand Down, pickup points, volunteering and making donations. Or send an email to Amy Johnson to Amy_Johnson@nasaeducation.org. The NASA Education Web site is nasaeducation.org.

NASA Education is a Crystal Lake-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive workforce and community reintegration services for U.S. veterans who are newly returned, displaced, disabled, homeless or otherwise in transition.

Crystal Lake: McHenry County College will host a Veterans Day Recognition program at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11 in the Multipurpose Room in Building A at the college, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

Keynote speaker will be retired Army Lt. Col. Ryan Yantis of Crystal Lake. Yantis is the Pritzker Military Library's first full-time executive director, where he oversees the professional staff, daily operations and events, as well as programs and events.

Before his appointment as executive director, Yantis was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army with more than 22 years experience in leadership, management, training, support operations, and public relations. He served in more than 30 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in addition to assignments in New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago.

Yantis was in the Pentagon assigned to Army Staff during the Sept. 11 attack and was decorated for his actions that day. He facilitated hundreds of interviews with Army survivors, family members and leaders leading up to the anniversary. His efforts contributed to the Army winning the Silver Anvil, the Public Relations Society of America's premier award for communications excellence.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is a graduate of the Department of Defense Program in Joint Communications at the University of Oklahoma. Yantis lives in Crystal Lake with his wife and three children.

In addition to Yantis' presentation, the day's events include patriotic music performed by the McHenry High School Band and Choral ensemble from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Other highlights of the program will include a posting of the colors by the Combined Services Color Guard with bagpipe music.

As a special project, the college is accepting donations for 54 soldiers that recently deployed to Afghanistan from the Woodstock Armory in the D Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment. The needed items will help make the holidays a little merrier for them. Collection boxes will be available on campus through Nov. 14. Boxes will be located outside of the Multipurpose Room in Building B, Information Desk in Building B, and Student Life Office, Room A252.

Suggestions for gifts include phone card, comedy DVD, plastic tubes of skin lotion (no pumps); word search paperback, music CD, AA and AAA batteries, candy (chocolate is a popular request), gum, small packs of nuts, trail mix, cookies or crackers; gel insoles for boots; hand or foot warmers. Gas cards or gift cards for the soldiers' families also are accepted.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided following the program.

For details, call MCC Veterans Day Committee members Dori Smith, at (815) 455-8559 or Donna Bieschke, at (815) 455-8728.

Elgin: As part of Elgin's Veterans Day celebration, Colonel Herman Stacy Clardy III of the United States Marine Corps will be the special guest speaker at "The Elgin Experience" movie meeting on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at the Marcus Theater in Elgin at 10 a.m. He will share with attendees his firsthand experience as commander of Regimental Combat Team 2 in Iraq's Anbar Province.

More than 6,000 Marines, sailors and soldiers were under the colonel's command during his deployment from December 2006 to January 2008. Clardy also served in Iraq in 2003 and previously in Kosovo. The colonel became a friend of Elgin veteran Gordon Schnulle and Mark Abate, chairman/CEO of Elgin State Bank, during their mutual visit to Iwo Jima two years ago.

"We are proud to have Col. Clardy as our guest at The Elgin Experience's monthly meeting in November during this special event for veterans," Abate said.

Nearly 500 seniors, age 50 and older, are expected to fill the UltraScreen Theater at this free meeting showcasing the colonel's military experiences. The bank will provide coffee, doughnuts and a special commemorative gift to attendees. After his talk, the colonel will accompany Schnulle and Abate to the dedication of Elgin's new Veterans Memorial Park. The dedication will begin at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a complimentary lunch at the park, just north of Gail Borden Public Library, downtown Elgin. Those Elgin Experience members and guests who choose to, can remain at the theater after the colonel's presentation for free viewing of a first-run movie. For detailson the special Veterans Day movie meeting and presentation or The Elgin Experience, call Kimberly Knes, Elgin State Bank, (847) 888-7979.

The Elgin Experience is a service of Elgin State Bank for customers, age 50 and older, who maintain specific accounts at the bank. Membership includes banking advantages along with social and entertainment opportunities. Free, at-cost or discounted trips, seminars and publications are also part of membership benefits.