Saturday, December 11, 2010

Illinois Announces "Reflections on a Veteran" Contest

"Secretary of State Jesse White is encouraging students in grades 6-11 to
take part in an essay competition honoring U.S. veterans, past and present.
“The ‘Reflections on a Veteran’ contest will help cultivate a deeper
understanding and appreciation of history and the sacrifices made by all
veterans, their families and communities,” said Secretary White.
After interviewing a U.S. Veteran for a class project, participants will
document in writing the most moving part of their interview. Students
will then write an essay about how the interview affected them.
There are two levels of competition: Level I – grades 6-8 and Level II –
grades 9-11. One winner and one runner-up for each level will be
selected. Winners will receive a $100 U.S. Savings Bond and runnersup
will receive a $50 U.S. Savings Bond. Winners also will read their
essays and receive a certificate at the September 2011 Constitution
Day Ceremony in Chicago, hosted by Secretary White.
The deadline to submit essays is May 16, 2011. Winners will be notified
in August. For more information, visit,
or contact Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or
The “Reflections on a Veteran” contest is sponsored by the Illinois State
Board of Education, Area 5 Learning Technology Center, Illinois World
War II Memorial Board Classroom Project; Secretary of State Jesse
White, Illinois Veterans’ History Project; and the Illinois State Library,
Illinois Center for the Book."

Interested students and teachers can contact the Veterans History Project Team at the Niles Public Library for assistance in conducting or arranging an interview with a veteran by calling 847-663-6425 or via email at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Martha Barsky Interview

Then Martha Kleczewski, Mrs. Barsky joined the WAVES during World War II after she and Mr. Barsky became engaged. She and Mr. Barsky are the second couple to interview for the Veterans History Project Collection at the Niles Public Library. Bill and Martha Shipp had done so previously. Mrs. Barsky's interview is now available for reading at the library and her transcript and audio recording will soon be available via the library's site at

Robert Barsky Interview

Mr. Robert Barsky served in the Pacific aboard the U.S.S. Foote. His interview has been added to the Veterans History Project Collection at the Niles Public Library. Both the transcript and audio recording will soon be available via the library's web site at

Charles H. Borowsky Interview

Mr. Charles Haskell Borowsky's interview transcript has now been added to the Veterans History Project Collection at the Niles Public Library. After attending the Merchant Marine Academy in King's Point, N. Y., he served in the U.S. Merchant Marine and the U.S. Naval Reserve. The transcript and audio recording of his interview will soon be available over the internet via the library's web site at

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Giving Thanks to Military Families with Books

Reach out and Read supports families at 44 U.S. military bases, serving more than 90,000 children of military families. The public can donate a book or sponsor a child in the program.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chi-Town Entertainment's Tia Rano Leads Parade at Breakfast

Chi-town Entertainment's Tia Rano leads the rousing breakfast finale of a parade, featuring veterans Charles Matz, Richard Vana and son Tim.
Kalia Jefferson and Tia salute to music at the Veterans Breakfast.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

4th Annual Veterans History Project Breakfast

The breakfast was held in the auditorium of the Niles Public Library District on Wednesday, November 10, 2010. The veterans appearing in the picture are from left to right in the first row: Sam Schechter, Paul Schneller, Irv Blaszynski, Gus Habighurst, Martha Shipp, Bill Shipp, Judith Carlson (for Norman Berkman). In the second row from left to right are: Robert Morris, Mike Kozyra, Walter Tymczuk, Max Kolpas, Matthew Wojtaszek, Irving Abramson, Jack Weinberg, Dick Vana, Donald Spitzer, and Al Aronson. In the third row are from left to right, Robert Barsky, Martha Barsky, Charles Matz, Harry Webber, Kenneth Radnitzer, Matthew Potoczek, Russell Zapel, Michael Czapar, Chuck Jacobs, Jerry Levin and Tim Vana. Eugene Kopacz also attended the breakfast. The picture was taken by Sasha Vasilic, the Publicity and Graphic Design Coordinator of the Niles Library. The delicious breakfast was donated by George Alpogianis of Kappy's Restaurant in Morton Grove. Library Director, Linda Weiss, welcomed the veterans, their guests and community members. Chris Hanusiak, the President of the Friends and a veteran, followed Mrs. Weiss to the lectern and announced a contribution to the Honor Flight Program in the name of the veterans. November 10 is the birthday of the Marine Corps and the day on which Gus Habighurst was captured by Japanese in World War II.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chance meeting of WWII 82nd Airborne Paratroopers

is described in today's New York Times on p A13, in the article entitled “World War II Memories and an Instant Connection, Chance Meeting of Two D-Day Glider Pilots ." It recounts the recent meeting in an hospital surgery of Benjamin Klein and Victor Allegretti .

Niles's Matthew Wojtaszek also served in the 82nd Airborne and is a participant in the Veterans History Project through the library. His transcript can be read and heard via the library's website at

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Operation Write Home Program at Niles Library

Wednesday, September 8, 11:30am-4:30pm

"Help us support the nation's armed forces for the holiday season by creating blank homemade greeting cards for them to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to be sent to AnyHero soldiers who need mail."

The library will furnish card-making supplies and no registration is needed for this special program in the Large Meeting Room.

Operation Write Home began in 2007 with just a few cards made by friends on a message board; what began as an outlet for a hobby has become a much larger mission to help heroes keep in touch with home - and the effort has been joined by thousands of cardmakers!
OWH receives handmade cards donated by crafters across America (and beyond!). Cardmakers range in age, location, and level of skill; cards are provided by individuals and groups, schools and scouts, companies and churches. All have one primary thing in common: a desire to serve those who defend our nation!
Cards are mailed to one of our volunteer shippers in quanities both small and large. The shippers process, sort, repair, and document each donation, and then pack and ship boxes of over 300 cards each to our contacts. Our heroes request cards (families may also request on their behalf; we serve all branches in all deployed locations.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

PILLARS OF HONOR, WWII Ceremony and Exhibit

will take place at the Des Plaines Public Library (1501 Ellinwood Street, Des Plaines, IL 60016 )on Sunday, August 29, 2 to 4 p.m. The ceremony honoring World War II veterans will feature speakers, music, and the unveiling of the architectural model of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Refreshments will be courtesy of Friends of the Des Plaines Public Library. The Model will be on display on the 3rd floor of the library August 30 -September 3.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Model of World War II DC Memorial to Debut at Des Plaines Public Library

The Niles Journal, 7/7/10, issue on page 3A reports that the 8' x 8' display will have its first showing at the Des Plaines Library, 1501 Ellinwood, (847-827-5551) beginning August 29, 2010.
Todd Wessell, editor, writes that the organizer Steve Schaeffer expects the model to be on display for 3 to 5 days on the 3rd level of the library. Mr. Schaefer and local businesswoman Suzanne Stanits are members of the sponsoring Pillars of Honor organization.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New and Improved National Resource Directory

has been unveiled by the US Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs. The site was created for Wounded Warriors, Veterans and their families and caregivers.

The site's Homeless Assistance section has expanded.

This bulletin was proveded by Niels Larsen, a participant in the Veterans History Project at the Niles Library.

2010 Military Handbooks Just Released

At 9 helpful 2010 titles are now available: Getting Uncle Sam to Pay for Your College Degree, U.S. Military Retired Handbook, Military Children's Scholarship Handbook, Base Installation Directory, Guard and Reserve Military Handbook, Veterans Healthcare Benefits Handbook, Benefits for Veterans and Dependents and U.S. Military Handbook.
All of the handbooks are free to view and download.
This bulletin was provide by Niels Larsen, a Veterans History Project participant.

"Military Handbooks was launched with one simple goal – to give the Military community the very best information available about pay, benefits, retirement planning, education benefits, and career decisions."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Niles Trustee Louella Preston Speaks at 2010 Niles Memorial Day Observance

Ms. Preston's touching remarks included an excerpt from a poem linking Flanders Fields and Arlington Cemetery. Fire Chief Mueller and VFW Commander Kozak can be seen to her right

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Niles May 31, 2010 Memorial Day Observance

Fire Chief Barry Mueller delivers his remarks while Police Chief Dean Strzelecki holds the umbrella. Village Trustee Louella Preston can be seen with her colored umbrella. Between the umbrellas from left to right can be seen VFW members Commander James Kozak, Gene Corr and Bette Horstmann.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Annual Memorial Day VFW Post Niles 7712 Honor Guard Prepares

VHP participant and former 82nd Airborne paratrooper, Matthew Wojtaszek, stands 2nd from left while color guard leader, Angelo Troiani, stands 5th from the left.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Annual May Library Display, May 2010

Veterans Al Aronson, Gus Habighurst, Chuck Jacobs, Niels Larsen, Ralph Ponfil, and Dick Vana contributed service items for the exhibit.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Remembering Okinawa: 65 Years Later Panel Participants

Three Marines Charles Matz, Ken Radnitzer, and Dick Vana are joined by Navy veterans Walter Beusse and Don Lewan as they field questions from the audience about their experiences in the Pacfic.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Remembering Okinawa, 65 Years Later

Charles Matz, Kenneth Radnitzer, Richard Vana, 3 U S Marines and veterans of the last battle of World War II, participate in the panel discussion-film program on Sunday, April 18, 2010 program at the Niles Public Library. The audience of 90 library patrons applauded their sacrifices and continuing generosity of spirit.

Remembering Okinawa, 65 Years Later 6th clip

U. S. Marine veteran, Charles Matz cuts his 91st birthday cake at the conclusion of the Remembering Okinawa program on April 18, 2010. Mr. Matz had participated in the panel discussion and film program.

Remembering Okinawa, 65 Years Later 5th clip

Remembering Okinawa, 65 Years Later 4th clip

Remembering Okinawa, 65 Years Later 2nd clip

Remembering Okinawa: 65 Years Later, 3rd clip

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Remembering Okinawa: 65 Years Later

Mr. Kenneth Radnitzer, Richard Vana and Charles Matz on his 91st Birthday were the guests of honor at the discussion and film program. The 3 U.S. Marines all fought in the last battle of World War II. There are 6 short clips in all from the 2 hour program

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gunnery Sergeant Charles Matz

Mr. Matz's interview transcript has now been completed and has been added to the library's collection. It will shortly be available to hear and read via the library's web site.

Remembering Okinawa: 65 Years Later

Three U.S. Marines who fought in the pivotal, last battle of World War II will participate in a discussion and film program on Sunday afternoon, April 18, at 2 p.m. at the Niles Public Library, 6960 Oakton St.

Charles Matz, Ken Radnitzer, and Dick Vana will recall their thoughts on the eve of the war’s largest amphibious invasion on April 1, 1945. Library patrons will then have the opportunity to view the 45-minute film, Okinawa: the Last Battle. The documentary treats the heroic sacrifices made by America’s armed forces during the bloody 82-day campaign to set the stage for ending the war.

After the screening, refreshments will be served, and the Marines will be joined by
U. S. Navy veterans to answer questions from the audience. All of the veterans are participants in the Veterans History Project at the Niles Public Library. Their transcripts can be read and heard over the library’s website at

Help Send Paperbacks to Our Soldiers in the Middle East

Dog-Eared Pages Used Books Store announces Book for Soldiers Program.

100,000 Paperback Books going to the Middle East!

We started this New Program at our Used Bookstore in Phoenix, Arizona after speaking with some of our customers who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were telling us that in their off-duty hours there wasn't much to do other than read or play video games and unfortunately there were never enough books for everyone to read and pass around.

We trade for used books in our store and often times we receive duplicate titles we don't need on our shelves. We have been donating books since we opened our bookstore in August of 2008 to the VA Hospital with Vets on their way down for treatment and Senior Communities & many other charities around town and we will continue all of these worthy programs.

The Books for Soldiers Program is going to be a massive undertaking and we are asking for every Patriot in America to help.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Last Train From Hiroshima" Questioned

Last week Henry Holt & Company stopped printing and selling “The Last Train From Hiroshima,” about the atomic bombing of Japan, because its author had relied on a fraudulent source for a portion of the book and possibly fabricated others.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sloan Work and Family Research Network on Military Families

The Sloan Network is the premier online destination for free work and family information. We serve a global community interested in work and family research by providing resources and building knowledge. Current, credible, and comprehensive, the Network targets the information needs of academics and researchers, workplace practitioners, state public policy makers, and interested individuals. It is the place to find high-quality research and reports, easy-to-read summary sheets and briefs, work-family topic pages, a work-family glossary, a work and family encyclopedia, and a literature database featuring over 10,000 bibliographic citations— all in one location. The Network is a project of the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College and has been funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for the past 12 years.

Military Families

Thursday, February 4, 2010

WWII historical imagery in Google Earth

"Today we're giving you another way to understand this period in time - by exploring a new set of historical aerial images, taken over European cities during World War II, via the historical imagery feature in Google Earth. They can now be compared directly to images from the present day.

The historical imagery feature gives people a unique perspective on the events of the past using today's latest mapping technology. We hope that this World War II imagery will enable all of us to understand our shared history in a new way and to learn more about the impact of the war on the development of our cities.

Images taken in 1943 show the effect of wartime bombing on more than 35 European towns and cities. Imagery for Warsaw, which was heavily destroyed at the time, is available from both years 1935 and 1945. They remind us all of the devastating impact of war on the people in those cities and also the remarkable way in which urban environments are reconstructed and regenerated over time." and National Archives (NARA) Release New Viet Nam War Photos and Records

Today announced a major addition to its Vietnam War Collection: Army Photos and Unit Service Awards. Now totaling over 100,000 photos and documents, this collection helps visitors gain a better perspective and appreciation for this often misunderstood event in U.S. History.

“Our partnership with the National Archives has proven to be invaluable as we work to make these records more accessible,” explains Russell Wilding, CEO of “Previously you were required to travel to Washington, D.C. to see these records. Now anyone can access the original records through the internet.”