Brigadier general, professor takes over Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs

Stephen Curda began his tenure as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs in June. (Dave Dahl)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – How did a retired brigadier general get roped into becoming director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs?

Stephen Curda, born in Korea and adopted by Americans, was teaching instructional technology at National-Louis University when a colleague urged him to apply.

“My first answer was, no thanks,” Curda tells WJBC News with a laugh. But his wife pointed out Curda likes to complain about things, why not try to be part of the solution for Illinois?

“She’s the wise one that convinced me to serve,” he concludes.

Now all Curda has to do is oversee the aftermath of the Legionnaires’ outbreak and the massive construction planned for the veterans’ home in Quincy. “Not just to better support our veterans now,” Curda says, “but how do we support our veterans 30, 50, even 100 years from now? Because that Quincy veterans’ home is over 100 years old, and I see it standing another 100 years from now, or even more. That’s what we are looking to plan for.”

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