Local 18007 Proudly Supports Veterans
Gasworkers Local 18007 takes great pride and has successfully been able to do our part to assist Veterans and their families. The Local 18007 Veteran Committee was busy in 2020. We were able to do a variety of activities even under the COVID-19 restrictions thanks to the leadership of the Executive Board. We were able to have flag and plaque ceremonies at the new facilities built by Peoples Gas, Veteran drives, create employment for Veterans and better the general well-being of Veterans. Local 18007 and the company were able to work together to commemorate all the veterans that works at Peoples Gas with a plaque at every facility. Local 18007 members who are veterans volunteered to participate and raise the flags and plaque dedication at the new facilities.
We had the Plaque Ceremony for our Flag Display at the new North Shop, new Central Shop and the new Logistics Building. The idea for the plaque was brought by James McGrath to our Local Veterans Committee. And our Local 18007 acted upon the idea and worked with the company to put it into action. The Plaque commemorates all veterans who has worked for Peoples Gas past and present. We presented the flag for the United States of America, the flag for the POW/MIA, and the flags for the State of Illinois and Chicago.
Our Flag Bearers were our own Local 18007 members that operate out of the new North Shop, new Central Shop and the new Logistic Building. They are all veterans. At the new North Shop were Tomasa Wickert-Montanez a Senior Service Specialist #1 who is currently serving in the Navy. James McGrath a Crew Leader who served in the United States Marine Corp. Daniel Hubbard a Utility Worker and Union Steward who served in the Army. And Glenn Valdez a Utility Worker who served in the Navy. At the new Central Shop were Miguel Ortiz a Welder who served in the United States Marine Corp. Tia Kennedy a Utility Worker who served in the Army. Hector Cerda a Utility Worker who served in the Navy and David Broome a Utility Worker and Union Steward who served in the Navy. At the new Logistics Building Melvin Lira who served in the Army, who works in the Machine Repair Shop, Luis Aguilar who served in the Air Force, who works in the Logistic Support Center and Dennis Fuller who served in the Navy who works in the Meter Shop.
We had enlisted Art Carlson our bugler who played the National Anthem for the colors of the United States of America and Taps for the POW/MIA flag. He has played at many gravesites of Presidents around our great country. And he is a tremendous supporter of Veterans.
Every new shop will have a Flag Display and Plaque to commemorate all Veterans of Peoples Gas past and present. We will continue with these ceremonies at the new shops when they are built in 2021.
Also we have had several Veteran drives to collect food, clothing and other items that would benefit those who are presently serving, veterans and their families for the Midwest Veterans Closet. As a Local we patronize the charity because 100% of the items are given away without any cost. Being outside of the Great Lakes Naval Training Base they have a huge impact on the veteran community in the Chicagoland area. Our Local 18007 and the leadership of Peoples Gas has had worked cooperatively to benefit the charity. We have had the Executive Board of our Local and rank and file members take part. We have given goods, money and manpower to benefit the local Veteran community.
Last year we attended a birthday celebration for one of our World War 2 veterans, Lorraine Knuth. She turned 100 years old. And she had many people speak on her behalf. She has not stopped serving our country. She works on the board of the Midwest Veteran Closet. Instead of gifts for herself, she asked for donations to the new building that Midwest Veteran Closet will build to serve veterans and active duty personnel. The groundbreaking was a successful event that brought out many political leaders. Governor Pritzker gave Lorraine a proclamation and Congressman Brad Schneider also gave her a proclamation, and other representatives from the area spoke at the event. The new building will be built just down the road of the old building. It will provide an array of public service to the veteran community. If you would like to donate follow this link to the Midwest Veteran Closet.
We have also welcomed our veterans with veteran employment from Dawson Technical Institute. It is a program that was started by Local 18007. It was designed to welcome outgoing veterans from military assignments to gainful employment at Peoples Gas. We have members go down to the facility and help instruct them on the normal tool usage that the company uses daily in the field. The Local welcomes each class and assigns each graduate from the program with mentorship from experienced and knowledgeable employees. Our mentorship program have members who want to help our veterans and guide them at the beginning of their employment.
We have had activities on the agenda to support Veterans that were postponed due to COVID-19. The Local also put support behind a 20 mile ruck sack march that raises awareness around PTSD and end Veteran suicide. The event Chicago Veterans group hosts was postponed. Also our Luncheon that supporters donate to have our Local 18007 veterans celebrate on Veterans Day was postponed. The Local hosts coffee and rolls for all our members on Veterans Day was postponed. Hopefully with the use of the vaccine and restrictions loosen up, these activities will take place in 2021.
Please keep all of our brothers and sisters who are held against their will, killed in action, missing in action and wounded in your thoughts and prayers.
Local 18007 Recording Secretary
Chair of the Local 18007 Veteran Committee
UWUA National Veteran Committee Member
US Army Veteran