ST. CHARLES – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today honored World War II U.S. Navy Veteran and St. Charles resident Betty Butler, as January 2011 Veteran of the Month at a ceremony at American Legion Post 342, 8 N. 2nd Ave., in St. Charles.
The Illinois Veteran of the Month award is a distinction that is given to military Veterans who give back to their community and continue to serve other Veterans. IDVA Director Dan Grant presented the award to Butler, 88, a retired St. Charles School District librarian.
Butler, a native of LaCrosse, Wisconsin who grew up in Milwaukee, enlisted in 1944 and became a flight trainer as a member of the all-female Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service branch, known as WAVES. More than 75,000 women served as WAVES for the U.S. Navy during WWII, and Butler was awarded the American Campaign and WWII Victory Ribbon during service.
Following military service, Butler worked as a nurse’s aide, and in the signal department of the Milwaukee Road before moving to Kane County in 1976. Butler has donated hundreds of books to IDVA’s Kane County Veteran Service Office and to the local federal Veterans Affairs office. She also is a volunteer at Fox Valley Hospice in Geneva.
“Betty Butler was a pioneer in serving her country as a Navy WAVE,” said IDVA Director Dan Grant. “We are proud to honor her service during World War II and beyond. She is an asset to Kane County and to all Illinois veterans.”
The “Veteran of the Month” award highlights the work of community activists who are also military Veterans. Each month the Department recognizes a different person or group that contributes to the betterment of communities across the state of Illinois. To nominate a “Veteran of the Month,” please visit IDVA’s website at veterans.illinois.gov to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.