Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children at Scott Air Force Base on June 28. The signing of this legislation makes Illinois the 35th state to sign the compact that eases the transition of school-age dependents of military personnel. In addition to various Military Families, the event was attended by State Representative Thomas Holbrook, U.S. Transportation Command Commander Gen. Duncan J. McNabb, Thomas Hinton of the Department of Defense and Major General William L. Enyart of the Illinois National Guard.
Also on hand for the signing was Army OneSource (AOS) Community Service Coordinator (CSC) - Illinois LaKrisha Lindo. Lindo was invited by the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Dan Grant to participate in the event.
“To be able to participate in a historic event of this magnitude was important,” Lindo said. “Attending the event also helps improve the visibility of Army OneSource, and establishes our organization as a resource for Service Members and their Families. Being able to speak with elected officials and highranking officers creates a ‘top-down’ awareness of our organization within the Military. After all, the decisions these individuals make impact the Soldiers and their Families down the line.”
Lindo was also “coined” by Major General William “Bil” Johnson, Chief of Staff, U.S. Transportation Command. Military Commanders present coins as a way of recognizing individuals for doing an outstanding job, improving morale and esprit de corps. A Commander can give a coin in a formal ceremony, but many Commanders like to use the coin’s size as a means to provide an impromptu accolade.
“Major General Johnson said to me, ‘I want to thank you for driving all the way from the Great Lakes area, and for your service to all the military personnel in Illinois,’ as he put his hand out for me to shake. As I gripped his hand, the coin was there. I was humbled to be recognized so unexpectedly.”
Lindo has been the CSC for the Illinois area for more than two years. During that time she has successfully promoted Army OneSource to the civilian and military communities in Illinois, while simultaneously building and strengthening relationships with Military leaders and elected officials.
“As an organization, Army OneSource has really worked hard to be acknowledged over the years,” Lindo said. “People now see the value in our organization and how we assist Military Service Members and their Families. Being invited to this event is a sign of mutual respect and recognition for the services Army OneSource provides to the Military.”
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children goes into effect immediately, and stands to impact approximately 10,000 children. By signing the compact, the State of Illinois agrees to collaborate with other states who have signed the compact to create uniform standards easing the transition of school-age children relocating due to a parent serving in the Armed Forces. The state of Illinois must reenact the compact in 2012.