New facility at Illinois veterans’ home named in honor of Korean War vet

QUINCY, Illinois — The Illinois Veterans’ Home has been renamed in honor of a Korean War veteran who was killed in action.

Lester Hammond was a Medal of Honor recipient who was killed at age 21, according to a statement from the governor’s office.  Lester Hammond Hall is the name of the new facility.

“Cpl. Hammond was a true hero. His courage and fighting spirit will live on here in Quincy and across the state,” Illinois Governor Rauner said. “This building will serve as a reminder of a life that was lost in the cause of freedom and that his selfless courage under fire is a legacy of devotion to the care of his unit that we follow today for our veterans all across the state.”

The State of Illinois bought the building in June of 2018 as part of an expansion of the campus.

The work being done is in response to the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak that impacted the veterans home.  Since 2015, there have been 14 veterans who died and several others sickened because of the disease.