A Hero's Salute III Benefactors

Operation Support Our Troops America

Operation Support Our Troops-America was founded in February 2003 to ship boxes to deployed troops supporting the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The idea for the project stemmed from the reality that while out in the field or in remote places, troops were unable to get some core necessities. As word spread about the project the community pitched in and helped fill the boxes. Since then we have shipped over 2 million pounds of comfort and care items (that’s more than 67,000 packages) to troops deployed in dangerous places around the world. As the need to support our military community evolved, additional programs were developed, including:

Leap of Faith: a three-day seminar and healing experience for Families of the Fallen led by a licensed clinical psychologist, spiritual and nutritional experts as well as peer supporters from OSOT-America.

Allen J. Lynch Medal of Honor Veteran’s Assistance Program: founded to provide a hand up, not a handout to veterans and their families experiencing financial crisis/hardships.

G.I. Yoga: teaches stress relief methods and tools to manage symptoms of PTSD and TBI to veterans and their families taught by certified yoga instructors. Free to veterans and their families.

Operation Support Our Troops-America has earned the highest ratings from charity watchdog organizations, including Charity Navigator, Great Nonprofits, and a Platinum Award from Guidestar as well as Most Inspirational Nonprofit Organization by Chamber 630. For more information, please visit www.osotamerica.org.

Willing Partners Canine Education

Willing Partners is a non-profit dedicated to the training of service dogs for U.S. military veterans at no cost to that veteran.  Working with a volunteer staff the veteran is guided through the intense training process to learn the skills they need to navigate social, educational, and employment environments with increased confidence.

It is through this training program that veterans are able to combine traditional therapy with the dog training process to gain an increased sense of self-worth, lower the amount and dosage of medications, decrease isolation and increase personal interactions with family and friends.

In the past 11 years, Willing Partners has been able to successfully guide over 175 teams through our program.  We are very proud of the fact that we have no wait list for our services.

WP also encourages veterans who do not own a dog at the time of enrollment in our program to adopt from our local shelters.  To date, we have successfully rescued, trained and certified more than 36 shelter dogs.

To learn more visit www.yourwillingpartners.com

Soldiers Coming Home

Our military service members serve selflessly to help preserve our nation’s freedom. However, their efforts require great sacrifices, including spending extended periods away from their families. Days turn to weeks and weeks turn to months, which can take a toll on those serving our country. Occasionally the opportunity arises for service members to return home, but costs can be prohibitive, especially given the limited time available.

We at Heal Team 6 recognize these roadblocks and cherish the morale boost a family can get when reconnected with the ones they love. Therefore, to help connect these service members with their families for homecomings and other important life events, we’ve created ‘Soldiers Coming Home’. ‘Soldiers Coming Home’ is an all-volunteer organization and extension of Heal Team 6. We work directly with active duty military personnel to coordinate and pay for the trip home which includes airfare, accommodations and ground transportation.

To learn more visit www.soldierscominghome.org

Veterans History Project

World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans are invited to the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan to meet with volunteer lawyers and have their oral histories recorded by official court reporters who will produce a transcript of their interviews for the library of Congress. The typed transcript to be archived at the Library of Congress. The library of Congress sponsored project to collect first-hand accounts of veterans from the wars as well as personal items such as photographs, diaries, letters, etc. of the veterans, if they so choose. However, this is not only for veterans. Civilians who were actively involved in supporting efforts (war industry workers, such as ”Rosie the Riveter, ” USO workers, civilian flight instructors and pilots, medical personnel, etc.) are also invited to share their valuable stories.

To learn more visit www.19thcircuitcourt.state.il.us/1923/veterans-history-project