Illinois VFW Flag and Eagle Graphic

Illinois VFW Veteran's Benefits and Services (subtitle)

Derek Giffin, Director

Derek Giffin was appointed as VFW Department Service Officer and Director of the Department Service Office on August 8, 2015.

Derek served in the US Army as a telecommunication specialist in the First Cavalry Division from 2000 to 2005. He served in that capacity in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom II with combat duty in Iraq.

He attended Purdue University from 2005 to 2010 graduating with honors earning a B.A. in Political Science and History.

Derek began his career with the VFW Service Office as an Assistant State Service Office in December 2010. He has worked with Student Veterans Association (SVA) groups at the major Chicago area colleges and universities advocating for student veterans to pursue all VA benefit opportunities. He has also been active in other outreach efforts representing the VFW at Job Fairs and other similar outreach events.

Derek is a Life Member of VFW Post 2378, Berwyn, IL. He is active in his Post presently serving as the Post Adjutant.

The VFW Department Service Office is co-located with the VA Regional Office in Chicago. The VFW Service Office works together with field offices of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, County Veterans Assistance Commissions throughout the State and VFW Post Service Officers to provide assistance and advice to veterans and their families.

Services provided by the VFW Service Office are available to all veterans, their dependents and survivors without regard to organization membership status or era of service. Services are provided at no cost.

The VFW Service Office is funded by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and receives no federal funding other than the provision of office space. All employees of the VFW Service Office are employees of the Department of Illinois Veterans of Foreign Wars, a non profit 501 C19 veterans service organization. All Assistant State Service Officers are members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Service Office Contact Information

AddressVFW Service Office
Room 105
2122 West Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60612
Telephone HoursMonday - Friday,
8:00am - 3:30pm
Walk-In Interview HoursMonday - Thursday,
9:00am - 11:30am
12:30pm - 3:00pm
Friday: Closed to walk-in interviews, Appointments possible
Regional Office Staff

Derek Giffin, Director
US Army, Iraq

Vera Moore, Assistant State Service Officer
USMC, Iraq

Jacob Crawford, Assistant State Service Officer
US Navy, Persian Gulf

Russell Meridith, Assistant State Service Officer
US Army, Iraq

Ellen Cozzi, Administrative Assistant & Claims Consultant

Maria Phillips, Claims Consultant

Gabriela Salgado, Receptionist

Field Office Locations

Lovell Federal Medical Facility (call the Chicago office to verify)
Bldg 133, Room 116D
Phone: 224-610-4142
Each Wednesday, 8:00am to 3:30pm

Hines VA Medical Center (call the Chicago office to verify)
Bldg 1, Room D109
Phone: 708-202-2562
Each Tuesday, 8:00am to 3:30pm

Curtis Hodge, Assistant State Service Officer
US Army, Iraq
Marion VA Medical Center
Room 103
2401 W. Main St.
Marion, IL 62959
Phone: 618-997-5311 ext 58230
Fax: 618-997-8219
Monday, Wednesday - Friday, 8:00am - 3:30pm

O’Fallon VFW Post 805
Call the Marion VAMC office to schedule appointment or walk in
223 West 1st St.
O’Fallon, IL 62269
Phone: 618-624-6575
1st and 3rd Tuesdays only, 8:00am - 3:00pm

Randolph County VFW Post 2698, Sparta
1911 N. Market St.
Sparta, IL 62286
Phone: 618-443-5851
Last Tuesday of each month, 8:00am – 3:00pm

Douglas Eaton, Assistant State Service Officer
US Army, Iraq
Illiana Health Care System, Danville VAMC
Bldg 98, Room 1012
1900 E. Main St.
Danville, IL 61832
Phone: 217-554-4502
FAX: 217-554-4361
Monday thru Friday, 8:00am – 3:30pm

  • Special Benefit - Purple Heart

    Purple Heart Grant Request Form (PDF Format*)

    At this time, Veterans from Illinois who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and have received a Purple Heart can receive a one-time grant of $200. Please use the Purple Heart Grant Request Form (PDF Format*).

  • VFW of United States Sponsored Insurance Programs

    VFW works hard to provide valuable products for its members with the best possible rates. All products featured on this website are marked with the VFW Seal of Approval. Whether you are single, married, starting a family or an empty-nester, there are products designed with you in mind. Most products are available for your family members, too.

  • United States Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA)

    Federal benefit and program information.

  • Operation Enduring Freedom / Operation Iraqi Freedom

    Programs offered for Veterans recently returning from military service.

  • Burial and Memorial Benefits

    Burial and memorial programs and services offered for Veterans.

  • Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA)

  • State of Illinois Veteran's Homes
    Operated by the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA)

    The State of Illinois through the IDVA operates four State Veterans Homes. The VFW does not manage this program nor is the VFW responsible for the Home’s admission policies or waiting lists. For information on this program please contact the IDVA per the below instructions.

    Each Illinois Veterans' Home is fully staffed with caring and dedicated professionals to provide quality long-term care and services to each resident member. Volunteers from local community and Veterans' Organizations provide many additional supporting services and activities.

    Each home is certified by, and works closely with, its U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs Medical Center of jurisdiction and the local healthcare community to assure that each resident's care meets applicable standards as well as individual expectations. Emphasis is given to assuring that each resident member is both well cared for and has a full and complete quality of life.

    The State Veteran’s Home’s managers welcome and appreciate supporters or active volunteers! If you are interested in helping support the State Veteran’s Homes or becoming an active volunteer, please contact the adjutant's office of the home nearest you.

    For more information, including eligibility, costs of care, quality and standards, admission priorities and resident activities, you may click on a link to a specific State Veterans Home below to get contact information for that home:

    Anna      Manteno      LaSalle      Quincy

    Illinois Veterans' Homes Brochure (Adobe Acrobat .pdf Format)

    Or you may contact:
    AddressIllinois Department of Veterans' Affairs
    P.O. Box 19432
    833-35 South Spring St
    Springfield, IL 62794-9432
    Phone(217) 782-6641
    Fax(217) 782-4160
    TDD(217) 524-4645
    Toll Free800-437-9824

  • Illinois Veterans License Plates

    Information on specialty military license plates offered in Illinois.

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