Programs & Services for Veterans

Chicago Park District & Veterans and Active Military: Serving those who have served.

In the spirit of “serving those who have served,” the Chicago Park District offers new, free sports and arts programs to all U.S. veterans and active military personnel, as well as a series of veteran’s resource fairs, this fall and winter at select citywide fieldhouses.

“We are honored to support our veterans and active military personnel,” said Michael P. Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. “We encourage them to explore our programs and to offer suggestions on how we can further assist them and their families.”

In addition to the new programs, active military personnel and their family members can choose from the Chicago Park District’s thousands of offerings in sports and fitness plus cultural and environmental programs for all ages. The Chicago Park District waives program fees for active military personnel. In addition, their immediate family members will receive a 10 percent discount on program fees. For more information, click here.

Military personnel must register in person for programs at their local park and show proof of active duty status, or a copy of their DD214. Spouses must also register in person and present their identification.

For more information about Veterans programs, or to provide suggestions or comments, please contact Modie Lavin of the Chicago Park District at 312-745-1958 or

2014 Valor Games Midwest athlete application
In partnership with the Chicago Park District, World Sport Chicago will host the fourth annual Valor Games Midwest in Chicago, IL, August 20-22, 2014. The primary goal of the Valor Games is to host a multi-sport competition for disabled veterans and wounded, ill and injured active duty service members. Sports include shot put, discus, cycling/handcycling, archery, powerlifting and indoor rowing. Athletes must compete in at least two sports, but may only compete in one sport per day. There is no entry fee for the event and athletes' costs for food, local ground transportation and lodging will be covered. However, the accepted athlete will be responsible for his or her own travel to and from Chicago. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis and is subject to athlete eligibility. Athletes will receive confirmation of their acceptance to the Valor Games Midwest, as well as additional event details, within three weeks of submitting their application. Please note that spots are limited. The application deadline is Friday, July 25, 2014. If you must cancel your application for the Valor Games Midwest, please do so as soon as possible. All cancellations must be submitted to by Friday, July 25, 2014. If you cancel after July 25, you may not be eligible to compete in the 2015 Valor Games Midwest due to costs associated with late cancellations. If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Miller at The 2014 Valor Games Midwest are supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Paralympics and the Chicago Park District. Click here to continue to the online application for the 2014 Valor Games.

Chicago Tribune: Veterans & Active Duty service members invited to 4th Annual Valor Games Midwest Competition

014 Valor Games Midwest FLYER

2014 Midwest Valor Games 
Our nation's veterans--especially our wounded warriors--have given so much to all of us. The Valor Games Midwest, presented in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and U.S. Paralympics, gives back to them.

Created in 2011, the Valor Games provides three days of camaraderie and Paralympic sport competition for wounded, ill and injured military veterans. The Valor Games celebrates sport as a means of empowering individuals and strengthening community. This event os amongst the fastest growing and best run competitions of its kind.

Valor Games SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 20
Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus Dr. (Gate O)
10-10:30AM Opening Ceremonies
11AM-3PM Veterans Resource Expo and Biathlon Clinic
11AM-4PM Field events: Shot Put and Discus

Thursday, August 21
United Center, 1901 W. Madison Ave. (South parking lot and concourse)
9AM-2PM Rowing
9AM-2PM Cycling

Friday, August 22
Armour Square Park, 3309 S. Shields Ave.
9AM-2PM Archery
9AM-2PM Golf clinic
10AM-2PM Powerlifting
2:30-3:30PM Closing Ceremonies

Veterans Resource Expo
Wednesday, August 20
Soldier Field
, 1410 S. Museum Campus Dr. 
2014 Veterans Resource Expo FLYER

The 2014 Veterans Resource Expo, presented by the Chicago Park District, will take place on Wednesday August 20th at Soldier Field during the opening day of the 2014 Midwest Valor Games. The Resource Expo connects military veterans and their families and service members with over 40 community organizations, agencies and businesses offering assistance with veteran benefits in education, disabilities, housing, legal services, child and family services, and much more. While not a job fair, become aware of employment opportunities. The Veterans Resource Expo aims to enhance the quality of veteran support services and to assist in integrating veterans back into their communities.

* FREE Chicago Baseball tickets to the first 250 vets!
* FREE PARKING on Waldron at Soldier Field
* PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: The Veterans Resource Expo is very easy to get to via public transportation. Visit and enter Soldier Field's address: 1410 Museum Campus Drive Chicago, IL 60605

* QUESTIONS? Please contact Modie Lavin at or 312.745.1958

Fall registration

Online registration begins:
Monday, August 4th @ 9am for parks located WEST of California Ave.
Tuesday, August 5th @ 9am for parks located EAST of California Ave.

In-Person registration begins:
Saturday, August 9th for most parks. Some parks begin In-Person registration on Monday, August 11th.

An account is required to register for Chicago Park District programs.  Create one now.


Veterans programs on Chicago @ Play TV show (Feb. 2014)

Veterans Resource Fair 2014


Left to right:
Will Schmutz, Director, Counsel of Veteran Affairs
John Daley, Cook County Board of Commissioners
Modie Lavin, Program Facilitator for Veterans, Chicago Park District
Joe Bazil, Outreach Coordinator, Jesse Brown VA
Corey Parr (back row). Program Facilitator, Chicago Park District