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June 13, 2004

QUINN SALUTES FLAG DAY WITH THE ILLINOIS ELKS ASSOCIATION AT SOLDIER FIELD Quinn and Elks promote the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund and the Army of Hope Program to help Illinois soldiers called to active duty

CHICAGO—Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn will joined with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks to observe Flag
Day and promote the Army of Hope Program and the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.
            “For more than a century, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks have been a beacon of
community service,” Quinn said.  “The Elks have stood up for veterans and soldiers called to active duty, and
we salute their commitment and compassion.”
            Also joining Quinn was Cadet Lt. Col. Alonzo McNeal, Battalion Commander at Chicago Military Academy – Bronzeville.  The school’s highest ranking cadet with a 3.9 GPA and eight extra-curricular activities, McNeal is the recipient of the American Legion Medal for Scholastic Excellence and the Association of the Army Achievement Medal. Cadet Lt. Col. McNeal plans to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point in the fall.
            The Elks have a long tradition of honoring the American Flag.  In 1907, the Elks were the first fraternal organization to make observation of Flag Day mandatory, and all eight Illinois Elks lodges teach the “History of the Flag” and sponsor an essay contest.
“The Elks are true patriots,” said Quinn.  “Not only have they made the single largest contribution to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund, but there are 1,100,000 Army of Hope volunteers – carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, attorneys, doctors, accountants, teachers, professional people and tradesman of every type – who are on call every day to help the families of soldiers called to active duty.”
President Woodrow Wilson officially established Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – on May 30, 1916.  On August 3, 1949, President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress designated June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
The Illinois Military Family Relief Fund provides financial assistance to the families of Illinois National Guard members and reservists.  The Fund - which helps families with rent, car payments and utility bills - has distributed more than $1.325 million to 2,500 Illinois military families.
To find out more on the Illinois Military Family relief Fund and the Army of Hope program, call toll-free at 1-866-417-8889 or visit www.OperationHomefront.org, which has garnered 7,191,464 hits and is one of the most informative websites regarding U.S. troops in the nation.


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