2023 Liberty Gala

Liberty Gala 2023

On November 4th, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library celebrated its 20th annual Liberty Gala at the Fairmont Hotel International Ballroom in downtown Chicago. The theme of this year's gala was "Remembering the past, forging the future" as we celebrated and reflected on our first 20 years, and looked toward an exciting future. We also celebrated the courageous stories of the Citizen Soldier Award recipients: 1st Lieutenant Bette Horstman, Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CW5) Candy Martin, and Brigadier General Wilma Vaught.

Thank you for celebrating our 20th Anniversary with us! 


Support the Gala Exclusive - 2024 Liberty Gala


Relive the moments from our 20th Anniversary celebration in photos...

...And celebrate the courageous stories of the Citizen Soldier and Founder's Award Winners 

Remote video URL
Remote video URL
Special Guest Speaker
Secretary Murphy

Honorable Patrick J. Murphy

Patrick served as America’s first Iraq War veteran elected to the U.S. Congress, and as the 32nd Under Secretary of the Army. Today, as an entrepreneur and advocate, Patrick harnesses the power of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to help veterans find jobs, start businesses, and secure quality health care and mental health services. Murphy is also the founder of an Emmy & CLIO award-winning strategic engagement & film production company, Taking the Hill LLC, specializing in gritty military & veteran projects of his 9/11 Generation. Currently, he is a Wharton Business School lecturer, Emmy award-winning producer, and a senior managing director at Ankura, one of the top management consulting companies in the world.


“We’ve done a lot of great work together with the Museum & Library and we look forward to doing even more together by spreading the word of what it means to be a Citizen Soldier.”

- Maj. Gen. (VSM) Mark Anarumo, Ph.D., President of Norwich University


2023 Citizen Solider Award Winners
Lieutenant Bette Horstman

1st Lieutenant Bette Horstman

After studying physical therapy at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan, Bette Horstman joined the army in 1944. Her first assignment as a 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 the Veterans of Foreign Wars Niles Memorial Post 3579 (Past Commander), the American Legion Post 134 in Morton Grove, and the Morton Grove Moose Lodge.


Candy Martin

Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CW5) Candy Martin

Martin spent 38 years in the U.S. Army, supporting military operations at home and abroad. Upon retirement, she pursued volunteer opportunities in a host of non-profit organizations that aligned with her personal mission to serve the active duty and military community, including the USO, Wreaths Across America, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), Friends of the Army Women’s Museum, the United States Army Chief Warrant Officers Association, the Women’s Overseas Service League, Daughters of the American Revolution, and American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.


Wilma Vaught

Brigadier General Wilma Vaught

A 29-year veteran of the United States Air Force (USAF), Brigadier General Wilma Vaught was the first woman to operationally deploy with a Strategic Air Command Bomb Wing. Promoted to Brigadier General in 1980, Vaught was the first and only military woman to achieve that rank in the comptroller career field in more than 2 decades. After retiring in 1985, she became the first president of the Women In Military Service For America (WIMSA) Memorial Foundation 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.


Founder's Circle Sponsors
Liberty Sponsors
Freedom Sponsors
Learn More about Our Honorees and Past Events
Citizen Soldier Award

Citizen Soldier Award

The Citizen Soldier Award, established in 2020, is presented annually at the Liberty Gala. 

Liberty Gala 2022

2022 Liberty Gala Recap

The 2022 Liberty Gala theme was "Honoring strength through diversity" and it was announced that the Pritzker Military Museum & Library has received “conditional” public charity status.

2021 Liberty Gala

2021 Liberty Gala Recap

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!

2020 Liberty Gala

2020 Liberty Gala Recap

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!