Chicago – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs will recognize Jonathan J. Lehuta, a prominent veteran leader in DeKalb County with over 30 years of service to his community, county and to his fellow vets, as the Illinois Veteran of the Month for April 2013. Lehuta, a U.S. Navy veteran, will be honored at a ceremony scheduled for Friday, April 26, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission, located at North Annie Glidden Road, Suite A, DeKalb, IL. Media are welcome to attend.
“Jon Lehuta epitomizes the great service connection and community involvement of our veterans in Illinois,” said IDVA Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia. “For over 30 years, he has made a difference – whether as the master of ceremonies for the City of DeKalb’s Memorial Day Ceremonies, or engaging students with scholarships through American Legion programs, Jon’s been there. His leadership, dedication and continued volunteer service to our veterans set a high standard for all the veterans in DeKalb County and across Illinois.”
Lehuta’s service began in the Navy in January 1974 as an enlisted Weather Observer and Section Leader stationed at the Naval Weather Facility, Glenview, IL. After completing four years active duty, he enrolled at Northern Illinois University (NIU) to study Meteorology while also serving as an active member of the NIU Veterans Club and later working in the Veterans Assistance Office. After graduating from NIU in 1980 with a B.S. in Meteorology, he attended the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School and was assigned on the USS Okinawa as a Weather Officer. Following assignments in Spain, Illinois and California, he left active duty as a Lieutenant and returned to NIU to pursue an advanced degree in Computer Science. Joining the NIU staff, he became an advisor to the university’s Veterans Club, served as the master of ceremonies for many events, including the City of DeKalb’s Memorial Day Parade (5 years), and he also performed Taps and sang the National Anthem at other events and ceremonies. In addition, he was a founding member of the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission (and still remains a member); a member of America Legion Post 66, having served as Treasurer, Adjutant, Vice Commander, and Commander (twice) while also having led the graveside ceremonial team for several years.
He was nominated for consideration as Veteran of the Month by Herb Holderman, Superintendent, DeKalb County Health Facility.