Citizen Soldier Award
The Citizen Soldier Award, established in 2020, is presented annually at the Liberty Gala.
On November 5th, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library celebrated its 19th annual Liberty Gala with over 400 of our friends & supporters at the iconic Hilton Chicago. The theme of this year’s gala was “Honoring Strength through Diversity” and celebrated the courageous stories of Citizen Soldier Award recipients: General Ann Dunwoody, USA (RET.), Colonel Jack Jacobs, USA (RET.), Brigadier General (MA) Enoch O.D. "Woody" Woodhouse II, USAF (RET.), JD. We were also humbled to have been joined by the Williams Family as they accepted our first post-humous Citizen Solider Award honoring the life and legacy of our dear friend, CWO4 Hershel "Woody" Williams, USMC (RET.).
The Presentation of Colors was done by the Loyola Rambler Battalion ROTC, our national anthem was performed by Lindemann Young Artist at the Metropolitan Opera, Ian Koziara. Following the Awards Ceremony, we were joined by guests for our after-party featuring the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center’s Latin Jazz Band.
Our new President, Dr. Krewasky A. Salter, Ph.D. announced that the Museum & Library has achieved “conditional” public charity status this year and as we work towards achieving full public charity status, the support from our community is more important than ever. With the help of our members, donors, and sponsors the Museum & Library raised nearly $800,000! These funds will allow us to continue our critical work preserving the legacies of our citizens and soldiers, and providing education on military history, military affairs, and national security.
We hope you will join us next year as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary!
Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first posthumous Citizen Soldier Award recipient honored for his leadership and bravery on the battlefields in WWII and his tireless work on behalf of Gold Star Families.
Co-Chair: Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), Founder, Pritzker Military Museum & Library
Co-Chair: Laura Ricketts, Director, Chicago Cubs and Chairperson of the Board, Chicago Cubs Charities
Bernice Billups, The Boeing Company
Janet & Craig Duchossois
Barry L. MacLean, MacLean-Fogg Company
Michelle Nakfoor, TAWANI Enterprises
MSgt Virginia A. Narsete, USAFR (Ret)
Bill and Penny Obenshain
Col. (Ret) David, Brenda, and Jeanette Pelizzon
Karen L. Pritzker
Mary F. Parthe, TAWANI Enterprises
Mr. & Mrs. Albert B. Ratner
Rob Sarazen, Goldman Sachs & Co
James Schenck, PenFed Credit Union
LTG Roger Schultz, USA (Ret), Army Historical Foundation
Steve Schwab, Elizabeth Dole Foundation
Marcin Szajda, BPEA Private Equity
Jonathan Victor, Wende Museum
The 2021 Liberty Gala honored the achievements of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library and the service of Citizen Soldiers, particularly those who served during the Cold War. Watch now!
In 2020, due to the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted our very first virtual Liberty Gala. This event was a mix of live and recorded content that highlighted not only the accomplishments in the past year, but also the importance of our mission. Watch now!