When you hear the words “military veterans post,” what comes to mind?
Perhaps your perception is a group of people sitting around a dimly lit meeting hall playing bingo and regaling each other with war stories.
The reality is much different.
“Even I had a preconceived image of what a military veterans post was,” said Michael A. Iwanicki, superintendent of the McHenry County Veterans Assistance Commission. “But that picture changed when I became a member.”
The organizations exist to support veterans and their communities. And McHenry County military service organizations have retained a rich tradition of doing just that.
“Our posts have provided college scholarships, community leadership opportunities, summer baseball, food for low-income families, toys at Christmas time, and more,” Iwanicki said. “For the veterans, community posts are out providing fellowship to our veterans in nursing homes, and at the VA Hospital.”
Additionally, Post members have teamed up with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity to provide volunteer service hours in support of a disabled veteran’s family.
“I personally participated in helping a post reroof the home of a veterans widow,” said Iwanicki. “An experience I will not soon forget.”
From a state and national perspective, veterans organizations routinely lobby to preserve benefits before legislatures. Many of the organizations also fund service officers at the VA Regional Offices to assist veterans and their survivors prosecute VA benefits claims.
“These are just some of the examples of the many activities performed by our Posts that are seen and unseen,” Iwanicki said. “For our Post members, I think that I would get agreement that each traded our mission in the military for our mission in the community.
The Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC) was created by local military service organizations to act as a local benefits office in support of military veterans and their survivors. The VAC superintendent is selected by the combined delegation from our local posts who have program oversight. The VAC’s superintendent and veterans service officers are recognized by the VA General Council as certified by organizations such as the VFW, AMVETS, and the American Legion.
“The VAC is another example of the dedicated service provided by our Posts,” Iwanicki said.
Are you interested in being part of a new mission? Contact your local Post or VAC for information. Posts within McHenry County include the American Legion, AMVETS, Marine Corps League, Polish Legion, Student Veterans of America (MCC), and the VFW.
Veterans Assistance Commission : 667 Ware Road : Woodstock, IL 60098 : 815.334.4229