Network doing wellness checks for veterans, military, families

A network of military and veteran organizations is offering free wellness checks for veterans, service members and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Illinois Joining Forces is a partnership between state and private groups, including the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, that helps service members and veterans navigate service providers through its Care Coordination Center. The center typically responds to requests for assistance on issues such as housing, employment or health care.

Now people may request the center conduct wellness checks, either on an ongoing basis or a single check-in, for veterans, members of the military or their families.

Brigadier General Ret. Stephen Curda, executive director of Illinois Joining Forces, said the pandemic has forced hundreds of thousands of people in Illinois to search for the help they need and navigate overwhelming options.

“It is imperative that we meet them halfway — and in our view, it starts with a simple phone call,” Curda said.