Veterans

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Helping Veterans Thrive

Chicago is home to a vibrant and engaged veteran community, and it’s our duty to ensure they have the resources and support they need in this city. As Mayor, I am committed to honoring this community by investing in the city’s Department of Veterans Affairs and creating solutions that serve the “whole veteran” – including the veteran’s family – so they can build a life and thrive in Chicago. Establishing the right support resources for the veteran community in Chicago has a consequential impact and immeasurable economic benefit for our city.

We need to provide returning service members and student veterans the resources they need to thrive here and make Chicago their long-term home.

  • Reimagine the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Mayor’s office with renewed focus and investment that it hasn’t received under current leadership. Establish the office within the first 100 days of the Buckner Administration.

 

  • Re-appoint a dedicated Director of Veterans Affairs to lead the department, prioritize veteran support initiatives, and work with Federal and Cook County government to obtain appropriate funding and resources for the city of Chicago; this role has existed in past administrations, but the current mayor has refused to hire one.

 

  • Create a dedicated transition pipeline for service members who are moving into civilian life, including continued education, vocational skill building options, and job training.
  • Establish ongoing resources to support Veterans reentry, including mental health support, healthcare access, affordable housing, and education opportunities.

 

  • Develop a pipeline for job recruitment based on unique veteran skill sets; establish training & hiring programs, support resources, and interview coaching.

 

  • Partner with established community organizations to improve the capabilities, offerings, and resources provided by the Office of Veterans Affairs.

 

  • Work with the State government and CCSA to bolster Veterans Restorative Justice programs in the city of Chicago to find alternative treatment paths for veterans convicted of criminal offenses.

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Together, we can put Kam’s 4 Star Plan into immediate action.