Veteran's Day

More than 2,000 state employees report to work at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago's Loop.  But the building, constructed in the early 1980's, has a host of problems.  Repairs will be costly.  The State of Illinois is moving forward in an effort to sell the facility, which some say is an architectural gem.  We look at the pros and cons of the Thompson Center on this epsiode. 

Also, the tragic story of young women who suffered radiation poisoning working at an Illinois factory. That and more on Statewide.

Never Forget: Preserving War Stories One Vet At A Time

Nov 11, 2015
Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

People across the nation are collecting stories from America’s military veterans, including a group in Rochelle. Earlier this fall, Unity Hospice of Western Illinois interviewed veterans of several wars.

Dixon Montgomery has a powerful story to tell.

The 66-year-old from Rochelle enlisted in the Navy when he was 18. He served as a Tank Gunner’s mate in Chu Lai during the Vietnam War. Montgomery was awarded with purple hearts for his service.

However, his time in Vietnam was cut short by a life-changing experience.

A Kenosha soldier who died in captivity during the Vietnam War half a century ago was laid to rest in his hometown Tuesday.

Hundreds came to pay their respects to Army Staff Sgt. James VanBendegom.

VanBendegom was 18 when he began his Vietnam tour. Three weeks later, he was wounded in battle and captured by North Vietnamese troops.

The location of VanBendegom's remains was unknown, until his family was notified that some of his remains were identified last month.


Gov. Pat Quinn made his first post-concession appearance Tuesday. He attended a Veteran's Day ceremony in Chicago.

Quinn has long affiliated himself with veterans' causes and says Illinois should be the most-veteran friendly state. He says the state endeavored to do that with a variety of programs, like the Warrior Assistance Program, which is focused on caring for veterans with PTSD.