November is Military Families Month, Resources Available

Today marks the beginning of Military Family Month, a time to honor the strength and resilience of military families across the nation. This month we acknowledge the unique challenges military families face every day and the recognize the sacrifices they make in support of their loved ones in uniform. Thank you to our nation’s heroes and their families!

Below are just some of the resources, programs, and laws available to help military families in Illinois.

Operation Homefront

This is a one stop shop for Illinois military and families seeking assistance and linking agencies and organizations to the needs of military, vets and families.

Illinois Veteran Affairs 

This is the home page for the Illinois Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs and offers veterans assistance in navigating the benefits available as well as identifying other resources.

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

Illinois law includes several provisions designed to help military Service Members and Spouses who are an active duty member or whose active duty service concluded within the preceding 2 years before application. One of these laws states that once you or your spouse have submitted all the required documents and fee as part of your license application, your application will be reviewed within 30 days. In addition to expedited review of your application, the Department’s dedicated Military Liaison will work with you and your military installation’s military and family support center to help you through the licensing process.

Illinois Attorney General- Know Your Rights

The Attorney General’s Military and Veterans Rights Bureau is dedicated to ensuring that veterans and active duty military service members receive the benefits they have earned. The bureau provides men and women with assistance, including case advocacy, health outreach and public advocacy forums. The link above connects you to a page with brochures and information on your rights and benefits as a military family in Illinois.

The Soldiers Project

A group of licensed mental health professionals who offer FREE psychological treatment to military service members (active duty, National Guard, Reserve and veterans) who have served or expect to serve in the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Illinois Military Family Relief Fund

IMRF provides monetary grants to families of Illinois National Guard members and Illinois residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who were called to active duty during an emergency declared by the President of the United States or Congress. IMFRF grants are intended to help service members and their families defray the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services, and other expenses that become difficult to afford when a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty.

Illinois National Guard Family Programs

Illinois National Guard page with links to family and youth program brochures, as well as other resources.

BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding for Veterans

The Brave HEART Program differs from other therapeutic riding programs for Veterans because it involves both the Military member, and the family.  During their time at the farm, families spend quality time in the outdoors doing a variety of activities.  From horseback riding to arts & crafts, the emphasis is on the family and strengthening bonds between family members.  These experiences enhance the therapeutic process by bringing everyone together in a low-stress environment. Locations in Harvard and Poplar Grove, IL.

Gold Star License Plates

Any Illinois resident who is a surviving widow/widower, parent or sibling(s) of a person who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and lost his/her life while serving during peacetime or war. Thanks to a new law passed in 2021, no registration fee is charged.

The Illinois Family Military Leave Act

Under the Act, employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months, and for at least 1250 hours in the last year, are entitled to take unpaid, job-protected leave to visit with a spouse or child who has been called into military service for a period lasting longer than 30 days.