Citizen Soldier Award Emblem Poster

2023 Citizen Soldier Award

The Citizen Soldier Award, established in 2020, stands to honor a person who exemplifies the traditions of the citizen soldier set by George Washington; a person who served the nation as a leader in war and in peace, for the betterment of the common good. The late Senator Bob Dole and RADM Richard W. Schneider were past recipients of the Citizen Soldier Award. 

We are now inviting members to submit nominations of individuals who represent the ideals of the Citizen Soldier. All nominations will be reviewed by the Citizen Soldier Award Committee, which is comprised of past winners, military veterans, and Museum & Library board members. 

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library is proud to announce the 2023 winners of the Citizen Soldier Award. 

2023 Citizen Soldier Winners
Lieutenant Bette Horstman

1st Lieutenant Bette Horstman

1st Lieutenant Bette Horstman studied physical therapy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. after graduating from the University of Michigan in 1943. She joined the Army in 1944 and was sent to Harmon General Hospital in Longview, Texas, for hands-on training. She completed Basic Training at Fort Lewis, Washington, before being stationed in Hawaii. Her first assignment as 1st  Lieutenant was treating prisoners of war at Tripler General Hospital in Oahu. After her military service, she worked as a physical therapist for a suburban Chicago hospital and started her own physical therapy practice. She is a member of and has worked with both the Veterans of Foreign Wars Niles Memorial Post 3579 (Past Commander) and the American Legion Post 134 in Morton Grove. She’s also an active member of the Morton Grove Moose Lodge. Horstman was honored and returned from the Chicago Operation HerStory flight in October 2021, which was an all-women flight (Operation HerStory).

Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CW5) Candy Martin

Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CW5) Candy Martin

Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CW5) Candy Martin served in the U.S. Army, supporting military operations at home and abroad for 38 years. Upon retirement, Martin’s service multiplied tenfold as she pursued volunteer opportunities in a host of non-profit organizations that aligned with her personal mission to serve the active duty, and gold star community including the USO, Wreaths Across America, Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital, Friends of the Army Women’s Museum, the United States Army Warrant Officers Association, the Women's Overseas Service League, Daughters of the American Revolution, and American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. She is also the Gold Star Mother of 1LT Thomas M. Martin who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007.

Brigadier General Wilma Vaught

Brigadier General Wilma Vaught

Brigadier General Wilma Vaught, a 29-year United States Airforce (USAF) veteran, was the first woman to operationally deploy with a Strategic Air Command Bomb Wing. She was one of the few non-nurse servicewomen assigned in Vietnam, serving at Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MAC V) Headquarters, Saigon, 1968-69, and was the first female USAF graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Promoted in 1980 to Brigadier General, Vaught was the first and only military woman to achieve that rank in the comptroller career field for more than two decades. She was the NATO Women in Allied Forces Committee Chairperson and the senior military representative to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. After retiring in 1985, she became the first president of the Women In Military Service For America (WIMSA) Memorial Foundation serving from 1987-2016, and was the driving force behind the establishment of the Military Women’s Memorial, the nation’s only major memorial to honor the service of all military women. Based on her contributions to national security and society, she was bestowed the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.