Veterans give 180,000 hours of volunteer service

Submitted by VAC of Lake County

The Veterans Assistance Commission of Lake County recognized its veteran volunteers and law enforcement partners at Dover's Strait in Mundelein.

Assistant Superintendent (Medal of Honor Recipient) Al Lynch, VAC President Norm Arnswald and Director of Lovell Federal Health Care Center Dr. Steve Holt made the presentations. Each recipient received the President Service Pin, Certificate and signed letter from President Obama.

Receiving the Gold Award (500-plus hours) were Tom Marciciak, Richard Johnson, Stan Villarreal, Michael Kozar, Nick Konz and Lisabeth Risley.

Receiving the Silver Award (250-plus hours) were Allan Ayers and Donald Nickerson.

Receiving the Bronze Award (100-plus hours) were Norm Arnswald, Dr. Raymond Moy, Al Zelent, Jim Reynolds and Jon Petrillo.

Al Lynch commented on the 180,000 hours volunteers gave, noting that more than 80,000 was given at the Lovell FHCC in North Chicago. Dr. Holt thanked the veterans who were present and noted that the center could not meet its needs without the support from the veteran community.

Vernon Hills Police Department Deputy Chief Jon Petrillo chaired the veterans coat drive last October and thanked State's Attorney Mike Nerheim, Chief Eric Guenther and Deptuy Chief Don Hansen of Mundelein, Officer Rebecca Foy, Anti Hoppe, Officer Dan Mead, Officer Santos Rodriguez and Commander Todd Williams for their efforts in making the coat drive a success.

Superintendent Michael Peck noted that the past year saw Lake County maintain its position as third in the United States for county VACs in compensation for veterans at $77 million, and that with the COOL Food Pantry with Gayle Olson and the Veterans Closet with Mary Carmody, the services for at-risk veterans continues to meet the needs of Lake County Veterans.

Earlier in the week, Steve Ruohomaki of the Lake McHenry Veterans Family Services received the Seven Seals award from American Legion Past National Commander Dan Dellinger.

Peck praised the services provided by the LMVFS and its Peer to Peer counselors as a needed team member in meeting the needs of the at-risk veterans and their families.

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VAC of Lake County Silver Award recipients and presenters, from left: Norm Arnswald, Allan J. Lynch, Allen Ayers, Donald Nickerson and Dr. Steve Holt. Courtesy of VAC of Lake County
VAC of Lake County Bronze Presidential Award winners and presenters, from left: Norm Arnswald, Dr. Steve Holt, Dr. Raymond Moy, Allan J. Lynch, Al Zelent, Jim Reynolds and Jon Petrillo. Courtesy of VAC of Lake County
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