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TLS Veterans to host event in Crystal Lake for children's book author

Writer sheds light on veterans, their sacrifices

Children’s book author and military veteran Robert Snyder is slated to bring to life his award-winning book, "What Is A Veteran, Anyway?," during a free community event from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 23, at the Sage YMCA in Crystal Lake.

The event, hosted by TLS Veterans, will highlight Snyder's book, which sheds light on veterans and their sacrifice.

“I believe that our society too often assumes that children will just automatically know what holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day really mean, yet how often do they truly learn about veterans?" Snyder said. "They may attend school assemblies, parades or ceremonies to honor veterans, but that alone does not teach children the 'why' they are honoring these brave men and women.”

The free event will feature Snyder’s school assembly-style presentation, including the opportunity for participants to try on military uniforms. Guests will have the chance to win copies of Snyder’s book and enter to win raffle baskets filled with family activities. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Crystal Lake Dawnbreakers, copies of "What Is A Veteran, Anyway?" are being donated to each school library within Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47.

Additionally, veteran information and resources will be available from the McHenry County Veterans Assistance Commission, the Road Home Program: Center for Veterans and Their Families at Rush and TLS Veterans.

As a veteran nonprofit, TLS Veterans said it is looking forward to hosting the public event and engaging all community members.

“It is our goal to bring awareness to the community, as well as providing a safety net for veteran families," said Mary Ott, TLS Veterans director of resource development.

In operation since 1996, TLS aims to provide veterans in need and their families with the services necessary to experience hope and achieve success. TLS Veterans also operates New Horizons, a transitional living program in Hebron.

The organization's drop-in resource center at 5330 W. Elm St. in McHenry offers certified veteran peer support to any veteran family in need of assistance, including an on-site food pantry, individual and group support for veterans in recovery, and referral to other agency services such as employment and housing assistance, respite care to veteran caregivers and outdoors programming.

With programs and services that cover northern Illinois and parts of Kenosha County, Wisconsin, TLS has many community partners that work together to offer a safety net for veterans in need. These partners include Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake, Kishwaukee Trail Chapter NSDAR, the Veterans Assistance Commission of McHenry County, Road Home Program: The Center for Veterans and Their Families, the Rotary, Sage YMCA, Star 105.5 and Texas Roadhouse in Crystal Lake.

For information about the event, visit or contact Ott at

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