Associated Press | Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 7:00 am
CHAMPAIGN (AP) – Military veterans are streaming back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the state of Illinois has only limited means to help them with jobs and education because of its budget problems.
More than 80 percent of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ $97.7 million budget is dedicated to running four veterans’ homes with a population of just under 1,000 older veterans.
Across the country state veterans’ agencies are facing similar questions about how to serve the needs of younger vets after spending decades thinking mainly about World War II and Korean veterans.
Illinois gets high marks from veterans’ advocates for handling veterans’ issues.But Veterans Affairs Director Erica Borggren says the agency has to look for inexpensive or non-financial solutions to unemployment and education needs.