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September 25, 2010 by staff 

Mcc, Readjust to civilian life after spending years in the armed forces can be unsettling for some.

That’s why a couple of groups are holding a free forum for McHenry County veterans of all ages, scheduled for 6-10 pm Oct. 13 in the conference center of McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. . Highway 14 in Crystal Lake.

The school, which GI Jobs magazine recently named a military school to use for 2011, has 103 veterans and their dependents enrolled in school.

Organizers hope the event is a one stop shop to meet the needs of veterans, whether stress disorder post-traumatic, knowing the options available for those interested in continuing their education and even offer support for mothers with children military service.

Other topics include issues of women veterans, MCC financial aid, job assistance and health care.

State Rep. Mike Tryon will also be available to meet with veterans on concerns it could focus on the state level.

Gamma Chi, MCC student veterans organization, and the Committee on Veterans’ Network of Northern Illinois are planning the event.

“We’re trying to make it as broad as possible so that everyone can get answers to your questions and address issues,” said Paul Wheeler, president of Chi Gamma Iota.

The forum became a reality for many veterans of the area that the Network are the veterans do not know what they are entitled to for service, said Randy Granath, 63, the group’s president.

“You must do this so that veterinarians can talk to these people and see where they fit into the system,” Granath said, a resident of Fox River Grove.

Wheeler, 28, of Crystal Lake, served in the Navy from 2002 to 2008 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans leaving the military life and return to civilian life these days are faced with unique challenges, “said Wheeler.

“It’s very difficult because it has, especially now with the economic situation … is a very hard to get out and move on with your life and begin a new chapter,” said Wheeler, studying for a criminal justice degree at MCC. Opportunities for the World War II veterans, who are not there for us. ”

As for aging veterans, many do not realize they are entitled to military health benefits, long after leaving the service, Granath said.

“They are still required to help with the cost of health care and the rest of that,” Granath, who fought in the Vietnam War.

It is estimated that about 24,000 veterans call McHenry County home, Granath said.

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