To view Mike Teranova’s speech, visit Fox Valley Labor News YouTube Channel
To view SMW 73 President Rocco Terranova’s speech, visit Fox Valley Labor News YouTube Channel
To view Hillside Mayor Joe Tamburion’s speech, visit Fox Valley Labor News YouTube Channel
HILLSIDE — The brotherhood of union members and veterans are similar — there’s solidarity, commitment and pride.
For these reasons, it was only fitting that members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 formed its Veterans Committee. This year, it marked its 10th anniversary.
SMW Local 73 President Rocco Terranova couldn’t thank this members enough for their service and their sacrifice to their country.
Over the past 10 years, the Veterans Committee has raised money and donated to several worthy causes, from providing postage costs for overseas packages to furnishing a room for a wounded veteran at Hines VA Hospital. Members also visit Hines to play bingo.
“Those men and women there are so grateful we took a little time out of our day to visit them. We’ve touched so many lives and helped so many veterans,” Terranova said.
Sergeant Major Tom Morrissey, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.) was invited to speak to members and he instilled the message the need to give back to others.
“Veterans Day is about sharing my experiences with how I’ve been helped, and how I’ve tried to help others.
Morrissey works for, and serves on the board for Transitional Living Services in McHenry, which helps homeless veterans and veterans with drug and alcohol problems.
“We do the dirty work. We deal with veterans that have a hard time dealing with life and we all need to understand that the more we can do to help those people, we’re helping ourselves,” he explained.
Terranova’s son, Mike, a Marine veteran, thanked the Veterans Committee for donating $500 to Salute, INC., a non-profit organization that provides financial support for our military men and women through a variety of fundraising activities.
Mike was quick to point out that donations to Salute go to a good cause — not someone else’s bank account.
The organization is near and dear to his heart because it helped his brother-in-law, Kirk Havens and his family, after he was injured in Afghanistan in 2013. The Army Master Sgt. now walks with a limp.
While recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, several organizations contacted Havens with mailers, hoodies and decal stickers, but when he reached out for real help — in terms of executing a plan to continue his civilian life — he discovered none really wanted to offer help beyond hoodies and bumper stickers.
“But Salute reached out to [Haven’s wife] and they said, “we’ll pay off our bills this month, just to give you one less thing to worry about,” Mike explained. “The money that your donating is making a difference. It’s not going to be clouded in administrative costs. It’s going to be put in veteran’s pockets.”
Hillside Mayor Joe Tamburino, who’s been coming to the Veterans Committee luncheon for all 10 years said no greater honor can be bestowed on an individual than to serve their country. Tamburion served in the Army from 1968-70.
“This is our day to sit back and think back and keep alive the memories, the times the places and the people — because that’s the hard part. As a Vietnam veteran, I can say today that I’m extremely proud of the way its country treats veterans and how they recognize them. It didn’t happen in our day. But that’s ok, because in our heart, we did what was right,” he explained.
The Veterans Committee is able to make donations through funds raised at its monthly 50/50 union meeting raffles, donations and proceeds from the sale of ads in its Veterans Committee luncheon booklet.
Prior to the start of the luncheon, colors were posted by the Northlake Howard H. Rohde American Legion Post 888.