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State Service Officer and Office Director, Derek Giffin

Derek Giffin was appointed as VFW Department Service Officer and Director of the Department Service Office on August 8, 2015.

Derek served in the US Army as a telecommunication specialist in the First Cavalry Division from 2000 to 2005.  He served in that capacity in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom II with combat duty in Iraq.

He attended Purdue University from 2005 to 2010 graduating with honors earning a B.A. in Political Science and History.

Derek began his career with the VFW Service Office as an Assistant State Service Office in December 2010.  He has worked with Student Veterans Association (SVA) groups at the major Chicago area colleges and universities advocating for student veterans to pursue all VA benefit opportunities.  He has also been active in other outreach efforts representing the VFW at Job Fairs and other similar outreach events.

Derek is a Life Member of VFW Post 2378, Berwyn, IL.  He is active in his Post presently serving as the Post Adjutant.

The VFW Department Service Office is co-located with the VA Regional Office in Chicago. The VFW Service Office works together with field offices of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, County Veterans Assistance Commissions throughout the State and VFW Post Service Officers to provide assistance and advice to veterans and their families.

Services provided by the VFW Service Office are available to all veterans, their dependents and survivors without regard to organization membership status or era of service.  Services are provided at no cost.


The VFW Service Office is funded by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and receives no federal funding other than the provision of office space.  All employees of the VFW Service Office are employees of the Department of Illinois Veterans of Foreign Wars, a non profit 501 C19 veterans service organization.  All Assistant State Service Officers are members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

2122 West Taylor St
Room 105
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone:  312-980-4284

Fax:  312-980-4680


Office Hours

Monday thru Friday

Telephone hours

8:00 am to 3:30 pm


Walk-in interview hours:

Monday thru Thursday:

9:00 am to 11:30 am

12:30 pm to 3:00 pm



Closed to walk-in interviews

Appointments possible


Derek Giffin, Director
US Army, Iraq

Charles Johnson Assistant State Service Officer


Russell Meredith, Assistant State Service Officer
US Navy, Iraq

Maria Phillips, Administrative Assistant & Claims Consultant

US Marine Corps

Gabriela Salgado, Claims Consultant

Edith Giles, Receptionist

Field Offices

Derek Giffin

Benjamin O. Davis VFW Post 311

22341 Governor's Hwy

Richton Park,  IL     60471

Every 2nd Wednesday of the month

9:00 am to 3:00 pm


Derek Giffin

Chicago Heights Vets Center

1010 Dixie Highway, Rear, Second Floor

Chicago Heights, IL    60411

Every 4th Wednesday of the month

9:00 am t0 3:00 pm


Russell Meredith
Hines VA Medical Center (call the Chicago office to verify)
Each Thursday
8:00 am to 3:30 pm

Bldg 1       Room D109
Phone: 708-202-2562

Greg Strong, Assistant State Service Officer
US Army, Iraq
Marion VA Medical Center
Monday thru Friday except first and last Tuesday
8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Phone: 618-997-5311 ext 58230

O'Fallon VFW Post 805

223 W. 1st  St.

O'Fallon,  IL   62269

Call the Marion VAMC office to schedule appointment or walk in

1st Tuesday of each month

8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Sean Conner, Assistant State Service Officer

US Army, Iraq

Illiana Health Care System, Danville VAMC

Bldg 98

1900 E. Main St

Danville,  IL    61832

Phone:  217-554-4502

FAX:  217-554-4361

Monday thru Friday – 8:00 am – 3:30 pm