Support Illinois servicemembers

By Pat Quinn

When we think of the many sacrifices our servicemembers and their families make for us, we sometimes forget about the financial pressure caused by a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. There is often a large disparity between the civilian salary and the military paycheck our citizen soliders draw, with more than half of married National Guard and Reserve servicemembers reporting a significant loss of income when they are called to active duty.

This Fourth of July weekend we have an opportunity to thank our men and women in uniform by donating to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.

The Illinois Military Family Relifef Fund is set up to help ease some of the financial pressure for National Guard and Reserve servicemembers deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. Fueled by generous donations from Illinois citizens and corporations, the fund has already disributed $6,309,000 to meet the needs of 11,392 filed applications from Illinois military families.

Today, the Illinois Military Relief Fund needs your help. With the Illinois National Guard facing its largest single-unit deployment wince World War II, the fund is struggingling to keep up with demand.

I encourage all Illinois citizens to take a moment this Independence Day to thank our men and women in uniform by donating to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund. Even the smallest contribution will help the fund continue its mission.

To contribute, please visit OperationHomeFront.org or mail a donation to: The Illinois Military Family Relief Fund at PO BOX 8889, Springfield, IL 62791.

Thank you for your support of Illinois servicemembers, and have a safe and happy Fourth of July.