On Veterans Day, take time to honor those who served

As I near the end of my 24th and final year as Illinois Secretary of State, I am proud to have initiated efforts to help veterans and to honor them for their service to our nation.

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A bagpiper plays the National Anthem during the Cherry Blossom Festival Veterans Day Parade on November 06, 2022 in Macon, Georgia.

A bagpiper plays the National Anthem during the Cherry Blossom Festival Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 06 in Macon, Georgia.

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On Veterans Day, I encourage all Illinoisans to take a moment to honor and thank our veterans who bravely served our country.

Originally known as Armistice Day to commemorate and celebrate the end of World War I, Congress expanded the federal holiday in 1954, renaming it Veterans Day to recognize all U.S. veterans who served honorably in the military during wartime or peacetime.

I had the privilege of serving as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division and as a member of the Illinois National Guard and Reserve. This experience helped shape me into the person I am today. I remain grateful to those with whom I served, and to those who served before and after me.

As I near the end of my 24th and final year as Illinois Secretary of State, I am deeply thankful to our state’s veterans, and I am proud to have initiated efforts to help veterans and to honor them for their service to our nation.

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In 2017, I initiated a law that makes it easier for military veterans to get jobs in the trucking industry. Public Act 100-0223 allows for an exemption from the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) test requirement for qualified current or former military personnel who participated in military heavy-vehicle driving programs. Illinois was the first state to take advantage of changes to federal CDL regulations that grant state driver licensing agencies the authority to exempt veterans from the written and road skills testing, a move known as the “Even Exchange” process.

We have also implemented the policy that gives U.S. military veterans the opportunity to obtain an updated driver’s license or ID card with the word “VETERAN” displayed under the signature on the front of the card. This applies to veterans who have received an Honorable Discharge or General under Honorable Conditions discharge. The veteran’s designation helps ensure military veterans living in Illinois receive the services and benefits for which they are entitled, including health care, education and employment assistance.

Lastly, I am proud to have instituted a policy that allows veterans to receive expedited service while visiting a driver services facility, meaning they move to the front of the line.

Please take time on Friday, Nov. 11, to thank veterans for their service and commitment to our great country.

Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State

Using lottery technology

I would certainly hope that in future elections we will start using the same technology embedded in Powerball machines. With millions of tickets purchased, it can be quickly determined where a winning ticket was sold. But three days after the mid-term elections, we still don’t know the results of the governor’s race in Arizona.

Jim Mullins, Chicago

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