11.28 Porfirio FloorBURBANK — With support from State Senator Mike Porfirio, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs launched the 2023 Operation Rising Spirit campaign to encourage service organizations, schools, communities and individuals to write letters of appreciation to former service members currently residing in veterans’ homes across the state.

“Writing letters for our veterans is a simple, yet meaningful way to honor their dedicated service and bring joy and comfort during the holiday season,” said Porfirio (D-Lyons Township). “These letters serve as a gesture of support, combating feelings of isolation that so many of our veterans experience during the holidays.”

Operation Rising Spirit initially launched in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to support residents who were unable to visit friends and family. The campaign was successful in encouraging veterans and facilitated their connection with the community. During the 2022 holiday season, IDVA distributed over 5,000 letters to veterans in the state’s care.

“Operation Rising Spirit honors veterans, offers support and rallies community involvement in acknowledging the sacrifices made by those who have served,” said Porfirio. “I encourage all our residents to show their appreciation for our former service members by submitting a letter.”

To participate, people can mail letters directly to IDVA, or submit on the IDVA website. Letters will be divided equally between the state’s five veterans’ homes. If mailing, send letters to:

Crystal Womack

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Central Office

833 S. Spring St.

Springfield, IL 62794-9432