State

Former Marine named Illinois veterans director

CHICAGO – A U.S. Marine veteran who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan has been named acting director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Rodrigo Garcia has served as assistant director since 2011. He's also been an advocate for student veterans and is national chairman of the Board of Directors for Student Veterans of America.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the appointment Thursday. Garcia replaces Erica Borggren, who is leaving to head the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The agency serves Illinois' 744,000 veterans.

In a news release, Quinn calls Garcia "battle-tested" as both a Marine and as assistant director of the agency.

He's from Chicago's Little Village neighborhood.

Garcia studied finance at Northeastern Illinois University. He has post-graduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University.

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