CVO Press Conference & Action

Once again, it’ time to stand up and be counted!

CVO is holding a Press Conference and action on the 5th Floor of the County Building (that’s the other half of City Hall at Randolph and Clark) at 9 AM, Monday, October 28th. We’ll be in the hall outside Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office. We will then proceed into the Budget Committee Open Hearings which are at 10 AM. We will testify that we as veterans and the people of Cook County need the Cook County Board to properly and adequately fund and staff the VACCC to assist the neediest veterans! They must not balance the budget on the backs of our veterans! As you know, the VACCC serves veterans in immediate need by providing funds for utilities, rent or mortgage and transportation. They also provide training and other employment services.

Stand tall and come out and be part of this Press Conference! Please notify members of your organization. We need all veterans to support this action by CVO so that the members of the Cook County Board see that veterans are engaged with this issue! Be there early so we can begin on time and be ready to go into the Open Hearings and testify!

Montford Point President’s Luncheon Fundraiser 2013




Guest Speaker: “Art Norman of NBC 5”

Art Norman

Saturday, November 16, 2013

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Event Location:


7011 S. Vincennes Ave

Chicago, IL




WENDELL FERGUSON – 773-852-8878


CHICAGO MPMA – 773-873-6600

Download Flyer Below ↓


Very Short Notice: CVO Action: Stop Cutting the Budget on the Backs of Veterans!

Very Short Notice: CVO Monday Action: Monday, Oct 21 at 10 AM on the 5th Floor of the County Building in Chicago

CVO is conducting an action to support the Cook County Veterans Assistance Commission (CC VAC). We will meet at 10 AM on Monday, October 21st on the 5th Floor of the County Building, 118 N. Clark Street. We will try to meet with the Finance Committee Chair, John Daley in Room 567 and have them increase the budget of the CC VAC instead of cutting the budget on the backs of veterans!

The CC VAC provides immediate funds for veterans in need for transportation, utilities, rent and other assistance. It is a crucial link in helping the veterans most in economic crisis.

The budget of the CC VAC has been cut 25.8 percent since 2012. Cook County is allocating about $1.13 per veteran (a budget of $276,404 in 2013 for 244,059 veterans in Cook County). DeKalb County has a budget of $555,000 for only 7,042 veterans: about $79 per veteran! Will County allocates $721,052 for 41,000 veterans or about $17.59 per veteran! Does Cook County value its veterans less than these other counties!

Cook county is trying to balance its budget by cutting the budget for the most vulnerable veterans. We need to protest this injustice and to have the Finance committee recommend an increase in the budget for the Cook County Veterans Assistance Commission.

Come out and make this action a show of veterans solidarity. We need to build unity and fight this injustice!

download flyer below


Save the Date: Saturday, November 9th Luncheon

Welcome Home Austin Veterans

You’re Invited to Lunch

November 9

12:00 Noon

Austin Community Resource Center

“Building a Better Austin by Serving the Community”

501 N Central Avenue (old YMCA) Enter on Race Street
Office (773) 379-1774

Sponsored by: Coalition of Veterans Organizations, Austin Community Resource Center, West Suburban Hospital, Thrivent, Veterans Strike Force, Vet-Net

Download Flyer Below

Austin Lunch Invite Flyer Download

Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp November 13 2013

The Illinois Small Business development Center at Governors State University is hosting their 11th Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp on
Wednesday November 13, 2013 beginning at 8:00 AM.
Registration will start @ 7:30 AM CST.  This event is FREE to all Veterans, Active Duty and National Guard personnel. There is a $30 charge for non-Veteran attendees.

State Senator, Veteran and West Point Grad Michael Hastings will deliver the lunch time Keynote address.

This one day intensive seminar will have general and breakout sessions for any level of business owner designed to provide information and resources to Veterans so they can grow their businesses successfully. The Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp has been revamped and includes an informative panel discussion with successful veteran business owners during breakfast; Information on the Affordable Care Act and how will it affect my business or my start up; Speed Networking session – meet your perfect business match!; How do I do business with the government?; Learn how to grow your business with email and social media marketing; Training session to create your 30 second commercial;  Why do I need a business plan and is International Trade right for my business?

In addition, an informative panel discussion on Small Business financing options -What’s the deal? and,  the John Marshall Law School of Chicago will interview potential clients for their  FREE legal assistance for startups and in-business client legal challenges.

Space is limited so RSVP soon to reserve your spot!  Register today at this link

Invitation to All Veterans Organizations to Meet on Saturday, October 19th at Montford Point

Dear Commanders, Presidents and Comrades:

Please forward this invitation to all Veterans Organizations you are in touch with. The Coalition of Veterans Organizations (CVO) is hosting a Veterans’ Organization’s Leadership meeting on Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m at the Montford Point Marine Association, 7011 S. Vincennes in Chicago. We cordially invite you and your leadership team to join us. Each organization will be allowed time to present their calendar announcements; describe your membership challenges and the support that you need.

CVO is comprised of national and grassroots organizations with a mission of advocacy and education regarding full federal funding for VA, homelessness, women veteran issues, presumptive benefits and ending violence.

In addition we are concerned about the stability of veteran organizations. We often hear that many are closing their doors or losing their charters. So how do we effectively support each other? The only answer is by working together on issues that impact all veterans. We want to build a strong foundation of veterans that stand for the rights of all veterans from past wars and ensuring that we can pass the torch to younger veterans to continue our legacy.

We ask each organization to donate $20 (if you have 3 or more members attending to a maximum of 5) or $10 (if you have 1 or 2 members attending) towards the refreshments; coffee, water, breakfast bars, subway, chips etc.

Please RSVP to either of us. We’ll send you the agenda when we get your RSVP. We hope all veterans organizations will attend this important meeting.

Rochelle is at 773-895-8015 and Bruce is at 773-320-1859 and to RSVP or if you need additional information.


Bruce Parry, Ph.D CVO Chair

Rochelle Crump, Co-Chair

Download letter here.

CVO Downloadable Letter

VA secretary: If shutdown lasts until Nov. 1, benefits cease for 5.2 million veterans

By Leo Shane III
Stars and Stripes

Published: October 9, 2013

WASHINGTON — The government shutdown has been painful, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said, but the worst is yet to come.

On Nov. 1, if the ongoing budget battle isn’t resolved, the department won’t be able to send out benefits checks to nearly 5.2 million veterans and family members, Shinseki told members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Veterans depending on disability benefits, living stipends and tuition payments will all be affected.

The claims backlog has already jumped sharply in the first full week since the shutdown — up about 2,000 cases, after a steady six-month downward trend — and the problem will only worsen.

And thousands of VA employees face furloughs as funding dries up, which will restrict program offerings for the department.

“All of the effects of the shutdown are negative,” Shinseki told lawmakers. “We’re asking (Congress) to help us get back to work full-time.”

Lawmakers appear no closer to that. Negotiations on a budget fix have stalled since the start of the month, as Republicans and Democrats argue whether to include changes to the Affordable Care Act and deficit reduction proposals in a measure to fund government operations.

Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., acknowledged that “there is plenty of blame to go around as to why we’re in this position,” but also chastised the VA for providing incomplete and sometimes confusing information over the effects of the shutdown on veterans.

He also criticized VA for failing to lobby the Senate to pass a House-backed appropriations bill that would have fully funded the department a year in advance, regardless of shutdown threats. Department officials have not offered support for the measure.

But committee ranking member Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, said VA leaders and workers aren’t to blame for the ongoing shutdown mess.

“I know that VA employees do not work solely for a paycheck,” he said. “They work because they believe in helping veterans. You have done your job, now it is time for Congress to do its job.”

Earlier this week, the department furloughed about 10,500 more employees, all of whom are involved with benefits work and information technology projects.

In September, officials initially indicated the impact of a government shutdown could be minimal on department operations, since much of the department’s health care is funded a full year in advance.

But department leaders warned that if the shutdown stretched into late October, the consequences would quickly worsen. More than $6 billion in benefits checks are due at the start of next month, many to families in financial distress because of lingering military injuries.

Shinseki could not give a precise date when VA appropriations accounts would run out. But he noted that unless the situation is resolved soon, “I will not be sending checks out.”

In addition, lawmakers noted that veterans make up about 30 percent of the federal workforce, many of whom are facing paycheck uncertainty because of the budget fight.

The VA secretary said he did not support a piecemeal fix to the budget impasse, dismissing a bill passed by the House last week to restore his department’s funding without ending the shutdown. The measure has stalled in the Senate, after Democratic leaders there labeled it little more than a political stunt which distracts from real compromise.

Shinseki said that his department’s work depends on coordination with a host of government agencies, so simply funding one part of government won’t fully restore operations.

Along with the ongoing shutdown problem, Congress also faces a decision on increasing the nation’s debt ceiling next week.
Twitter: @LeoShane

Government Shutdown: What’s Open and What’s Not for Veterans

Please download the guide, that explains which government services for veterans will be available and which ones will not during the government shut down. Many VA Hospital services will be available; many Regional Office services will not. Please take a look at the guide for specific information.

Click to view ↓