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S13 Episode 02: From Our Veterans

Wayne Fischer, Senior Vice Commander of the Illinois American Legion, Joe Strebel, Naperville’s American Legion Post 43 historian, and Lew Breese, past commander of the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 explain the history behind our veterans organizations and how people can continue to support our service men and women.

This episode is part of Series 13: Healing Field of Honor. Listen to the companion episode, “Healing Field Stories." View a list of all ParkTalk episodes here:

Special CO-VID update:  Read this article from the Daily Herald about Wayne Fischer's reflections on serving in Viet Nam and how we can help veterans during the coronavirus outbreak. 


Quotes from the episode:

“Our (American Legion) programs are designed for our community, for our youth, for our fellow veterans and for our active duty military. For example, for our veterans, we are a major supporter of our Honor Flight Chicago program. When they get back from their day in Washington, D.C. to see their memorial, it’s an experience of a lifetime…it brings people to tears when they talk about it.” – Wayne Fischer

“Judd Kendall’s death saved countless lives and ensured the eventual victory on our side in World War 1.”- Lew Breese

“One of the most prominent and noticeable changes in the American Legion is the growing role of women. It’s opened up a lot of opportunities.” – Joe Strebel

Learn more about the American Legion Post 43, celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2019.

Learn more about the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2019

Ways to support our veterans’ organizations and their outreach:

  • Thank a veteran, whenever you have the opportunity.
  • View the Healing Field of Honor 
  • Donate a flag for the Healing Field of Honor
  • Support local fundraising such as the poppy sales around Memorial Day.  All proceeds go to veterans in need.
  • Join in the Memorial Day parade and activities, either as a spectator, or as part of the parade.
  • Participate in the Friday Fish Fry each spring at the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 at 908 W. Jackson Ave

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On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
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