If you can help out, please contact RUN4VETS through the Volunteer sign up form.
TLS Veterans operates New Horizons, a transitional-living center for homeless veterans in Hebron. TLS also operates a drop-in center in McHenry, IL, that serves as a hub for a Lake-McHenry County initiative focusing on the well-being of veterans and military families. Peer support by veterans is the key for this initiative’s major goals to cut veteran homelessness, suicide prevention and reduction of psychiatric hospitalizations by transforming the way services are delivered.
The Voices of Veterans Writer’s Group, open to all military veterans meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 6-8PM. There is no cost to participate in this program.
Please bring a new unwrapped toy to RUN4VETS Toys For Toys collection for local McHenry County residents, veterans and their families.
Tot waiting for Santa to arrive at the Toys for Tots event. Photo credit TLS McHenry.
The mission of The Vet Art Project is to provide “opportunities for veterans and their families to work in collaboration with artists to create art about war and service, and to foster discussion about how war and service affect us all.”
Growing up, Jeanine loved to visit art museums and draw. At age 12, she began painting after her grandfather sent her a set of paints.
Jeanine Hill-Soldner with portrait of veteran Allen Jakes. Photo credit @noelfwilliams
Through these portraits of veterans, Jeanine tells their stories about their time both in the military and after discharge. Currently living in Algonquin, she grew up in a military family and in the 1960’s lived in Hawaii. In 1965 her father was deployed from there to Viet Nam and trained some of those first ground troops.
“These paintings are about veterans.” Jeanine says, “I am doing work about veterans because my childhood was defined by my father being in the military. My dad was in Marine Corp. It has been very worthwhile, I feel like it is quite an honor that all these wonderful people come into my studio for their portrait.”
Each painting represents a person who has come into her studio and posed for their portrait. The paintings are all oil on canvas and 30×40 inches. Each veteran is pictured with items that are meaningful to him or her. Jeanine is currently working on her 17th veteran portrait in her Crystal Lake studio.
We spoke with Virginia Freyre, Adult Reference Librarian at the Algonquin Area Public Library which hosted this exhibit and I asked her how patrons benefit from exhibits like this.
Virginia said, “The patrons benefit because we are providing exactly what our mission states which is the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational aspect of art. We collaborate frequently with a lot of artists. Jeanine, who has done all these art works, was the first one to actually exhibit in this library, And she is also the one who got us the hanging system here. So she is quite a star here at our library.”
Librarian Virginia Freyre with portraits of Allen Jakes and De Yip G. Louie. Photo credit @noelfwilliams
The library also collaborates with other artists, Jacobs High School and the Village of Algonquin to display art. Follow the library on Facebook.
April M. Williams with portraits of veterans De Yip G. Louie and Matt Ping. Photo credit @noelfwilliams
Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”
Veteran Edgar Gonzalez Beaza. Photo credit @noelfwilliams
We are enjoying our visit to Honolulu on the always beautiful island of Oahu in Hawaii. Yesterday we visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial and met a 92 year old Pearl Harbor survivor of the day which has lived in infamy, Dec. 7, 1941. Herb Weatherwax was born in Oahu and was at Pearl Harbor during the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Herb later served in the Battle of the Bulge before fighting in Germany.
Raised in Hawaii, Herb found the Midwest winters too cold and returned to the Hawaiian Islands after World War II. Herb can be found volunteering at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center three days a week. He enjoys meeting with and signing autographs for the thousands of visitors he meets each year.
Click on the image below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?” Turn up your speakers and listen as Herbert Weatherwax introduces himself to you. Enjoy this history moment of history.
I am very grateful to have met several Pearl Harbor survivors on my travels to Hawaii. Many of these soldiers toured the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center last year for the final Pearl Harbor Survivors reunion. As they reach their 90’s it is harder for them to travel, especially long distances. Here are the stories of other Pearl Harbor survivors.