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Military Family Relief Fund

More Information About the Fund

Lt. Governor Pat Quinn championed the effort to introduce the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund, which was approved by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Blagojevich in February of 2003.

The fund was an immediate success with Illinois taxpayers, citizens, corporations and even fourth-grade classrooms mobilizing to donate to the fund.

Following this success, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn introduced a resolution to the National Lt. Governorís Association during the NLGA winter meetings of 2004. The resolution was passed unanimously, with Lt. Governors from across the nation promising to return to their home states to pass similar legislation to protect our active duty National Guard members and reservists.

As of today, 41 states have passed legislation modeled after the Illinois Military Family Relief Act.

Success Story:

The Illinois Military Family Relief Fund has distributed $6,309,000 of approved funds for over 11,392 applications from Illinois military families.

Illinois corporations, community groups, students and others have generously donated to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.

The website, www.OperationHomeFront.org, has garnered more than 20 million hits and is one of the most informative websites regarding U.S. troops in the nation.

How does the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund work?

The Military Family Relief Act establishes a check-off box on Illinois income tax returns to allow Illinois taxpayers to voluntarily contribute to a trust fund that provides financial assistance to Illinois National Guard members and reservists called to active duty.

Additionally anyone can contribute to the fund year round electronically (click here), or by mailing his or her donation to:

Illinois Military Family Relief Fund
1301 N. MacArthur Boulevard
Springfield, IL 62702
1-800-832-9225
jack.pascoe@us.army.mil

Who is eligible?

Any member of the National Guard or Reserves who was or is currently activated in support of the Global War on Terror since September 11, 2001 and are below the rank of O-4 (Major) or CW4. (All ranks qualify for the Casualty-Based Grant)

Why is there a need for the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund?

Since the war on terrorism began, thousands of Illinois National Guard and Reserve members have been called to active duty. Many families of these citizen-soldiers have endured a serious decline in purchasing power because the military pay of the soldier, typically the breadwinner, is substantially less than a regular salary in civilian life. This year, 2008, the Illinois National Guard will be facing its largest single-unit callup since World War II, with the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team leaving for Afghanistan - 2700 Citizen Soldiers.

Facts about call-up of the National Guard and Reserves:

  • Four in ten members of the National Guard and reserves lose money when they are activated.
  • More than 575,233 members of the Guard and reserves have been mobilized in the last 12 years since the Persian Gulf War. For the previous 36 years, the figure was 349,208.
  • In 1980, the Army National Guard had 368,000 personnel. In 2000, the Army National Guard had 353,000 personnel. They are doing more missions and activations with fewer personnel.

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