Veterans showed appreciation in Central Illinois

EAST PEORIA, Ill. - “Everyday they have sacrificed so much for us, it’s important for us to turn around and thank them now,” said Cathy Plouzek, of HOI HR Council.

More than 200 veterans showed up for the third annual Heart Of Illinois Veterans Appreciation event in East Peoria Tuesday. An opportunity for retired members of the military to find work.

“A lot of veterans are in destitute states now, said Navy Veteran Walter DeArmond. He adds, “You see a lot of them homeless or without work and just the fact the community reaches out to help one of our brothers, helps us all. “

For veterans the event is a chance to showcase employers on the benefits of hiring those who served.

“How much training they've received in the military, they're disciplined, and there hard work ethic,” added Plouzek.

This year, retired Lt. Colonel Robert Darling talked to the crowd about his experience during 9/11 inside the White House bunker where he worked alongside Vice President Dick Cheney. He believes events like this one show how much central Illinois cares about its veterans.

“This morning I had a tour of the Salvation Army, Goodwill Headquarters the Veteran Home for our veterans, to see what this community has done for its veterans and its families is really unsurpassed by any place I’ve ever been,” said Darling.

Organizers of the event stress the importance to thank our veterans and provide opportunities for them, not only when Veterans Day is near, but all year long.

 


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