EMPORIA (KSNT) – Jeff Iilk joined the military back in the mid 70’s for one reason above all: to help as many people as he could.

“I wanted to serve the people,” Iilk said. “I wanted to do something, I wanted to make a difference in my life.” 

Jeff served as a Military Police Officer in the Army, where he would get the opportunity to help those stateside, as well as those around the globe.

Helping others and giving back to communities drove Jeff to a lifetime of service. He would bring his passion for helping others stateside following his military retirement.

“I’m the finance officer at the American Legion in Emporia,” Iilk said. “We’ve also got the atlas pod, which is one of 13 pods that provides telehealth to veterans.” 

Serving as the financial officer for around 10 years, he’s worked to make the American Legion a welcoming environment for all that have served. He encourages those in the community that haven’t swung by, to pay them a visit.

“Come help your fellow veterans,” Iilk said. “No matter who they are, no matter how old they are, no matter where they served. There’s help in many ways that we can provide that help to them, all they have to do is come see us.” 

For Jeff, the act of giving back to others is the true meaning of service.

“It gives me great pleasure to help other people,” Jeff said. “Any chance I get I want to help somebody.” 

Jeff would later transition those skills he learned through the military into civilian life. Serving as a police officer in Emporia for almost three decades, and a security guard for USD 253 for ten-and-a-half years.