GODFREY - The Lewis and Clark Community Clark Veterans Club joined forces with Marquette Catholic High School students and graduates to support the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) "Operation Rising Spirit" campaign this year. A Marquette Catholic graduate attending L&C - Monica Wendle - is playing an important role in the campaign.

Monica WendleThe campaign encourages service organizations, schools, communities, and individuals to write letters of appreciation and support to veterans residing at the state veterans' homes in Anna, Chicago, LaSalle, Manteno, and Quincy.

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“Hundreds of letters were sent to veterans in our five residential homes last holiday season, bringing so much joy to the homes,” said Director Terry Prince. “Operation Rising Spirit is a wonderful volunteer opportunity to spread cheer to our veterans.”

Cards and letters will be disseminated equally to the five residential homes.

“At a recent meeting, the Veterans Club decided to help in this effort,” said Terry Lane, L&C Director of Career and Veteran Services and Veterans Club Advisor. “One of our members, Monica Wendle, said she would organize a supporting effort at Marquette Catholic High School in Alton. She graduated from MCHS in Spring 2022 and began classes at L&C in Fall 2022. She had been involved with veteran-supportive activities there as well.

“Monica is not a veteran, so it was a pleasant surprise when she contacted me about taking part in Vets Club activities when she enrolled at L&C. We always say we welcome any student who supports our military and veteran-oriented activities, veteran or not. Monica took us at our word. We’re happy to have her.”

Monica said: "I was happy to help with handmade Christmas cards and thankful many kids at MCHS helped share Jesus’ love with the homemade cards they made! We are so blessed with our veterans who have fought for our freedom, it’s really the least we can do."

Community members who wish to participate in “Operation Rising Spirit” can do so by sending cards or letters directly to the IDVA at:

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The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Central Office

833 South Spring Street

P.O. Box 19432

Springfield, IL 62794-9432

Notes may also be sent directly through the IDVA website: https://www2.illinois.gov/veterans/services%20benefits/homes/Pages/send-a-note.aspx

Anyone with questions can contact Lane at tdlane@lc.edu or at (618) 468–5500. To learn more about L&C Veterans Services, visit www.lc.edu/veterans.

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