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Submitted by Village of Orland Park
4:20 am CST February 5, 2020

The Quilt of Tears exhibit, hosted by the Orland Park Veterans’ Commission, is to be held Feb. 6-8 at the Orland Park Civic Center, 14750 S. Ravinia Ave.

The event is intended to bring attention to the needs of those exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides during military service. The three-day event is to include the exhibit, a veterans’ benefits presentation, a candidate forum on veterans’ issues, a military expo and more.

The event is to kick off at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, with an opening ceremony that includes the posting of colors by Orland-Palos Reber-Tesmond Memorial VFW Post 2604 and the Orland Park American Legion Memorial Post 111; an opening prayer by Pat Rafferty, District 8 chaplain; and a welcome message from Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.

The Quilt of Tears exhibit is to feature the Agent Orange Quilt of Tears, a collection of handmade quilt patches paying tribute to the victims of Agent Orange exposure.

Day 2 of the exhibit on Friday, Feb. 7, offers the Quilt of Tears to view from 1-9 p.m. In addition, Theresa Hartmann of the Orland Park Veterans Center and Kristi McNichol of the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission are to be on-hand to discuss benefits for veterans. Classes will be offered at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Pekau is to moderate the Candidates Forum on Veterans Issues and Herbicide Legislation from 6-7:30 p.m.

On the final day of the event on Saturday, Feb. 8, the Quilt of Tears exhibit is to open at 10 a.m. on and conclude at 5 p.m. The Military Expo is to begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. Lunch donated by City Barbeque of Orland Park will be served in the Civic Center Annex from noon-1 p.m. to the first 200 attendees. A forum is to be held at 1:15 p.m. beginning with a few words from Orland Park Quilt of Tears Event Coordinator Tom Dubelbeis, who is to touch on the subject of veterans herbicide exposure. Attorney Ed Farmer is to present a “When do I Need an Attorney for my VA Claims” discussion at 1:45 p.m.

At 2:15 p.m., Orland Park Veterans Center Director Theresa Hartmann is to offer her expertise on veterans benefits, followed by a presentation about veterans suicide by a nurse educator from Hines Veterans Administration Hospital.

The closing ceremony is to be held at 5 p.m. and include the retiring of colors and closing comments from the event organizer.

All activities are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information, contact Orland Park Veterans Commission Chairman Dale Carver (762) 218-7657.