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Tuesday, February 18, 2014: The after dinner speaker will be Mr. Joe McMahon, Kane County States Attorney, who will speak on recent cases, operations of the State's Attorney's office, and new laws. He was appointed Kane County State’s Attorney in November 2010.
Joe is a lifelong resident of Kane County, and a 1984 graduate of St. Edward High School. Joe earned his bachelor’s degree in 1988 from the University of Iowa and his juris doctor from the John Marshall Law School in 1992. In 2006 Joe earned his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
He began his legal career in 1992 as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Kane County prosecuting criminal cases, including traffic, misdemeanor, felonies, sexual assault, gang-related crimes, crimes against children and the elderly, and first-degree murder and death-penalty cases. From 1998 to 2000 Joe served as chief of the Criminal Division of the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office and supervised a staff of 28 lawyers and all criminal prosecutions in Kane County. Joe also worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Illinois prosecuting white collar crime, public corruption and healthcare fraud.
Before he was appointed Kane County State’s Attorney, Joe was in the private practice of law, representing small and mid-sized organizations and their principals as their outside general counsel. Mr. McMahon is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, having previously served as chairman of its Corporate Law Department Section Council, chairman of the Sentencing & Corrections Committee and currently is a member of its Judicial Evaluation Outside of Cook County Committee. He is a member of the Kane County Bar Association, and serves on the board of directors of Fox Valley volunteer Hospice, the largest all-volunteer hospice organization in the United States.

Saturday, January 25, 2014: the Lake County Council of the Navy League is holding its Annual Gala and Awards Dinner. Aurora Council members are invited.
It starts at 6 PM with cocktails followed by dinner at 7 PM. It will be held at the Port O'Call Banquet and Convention Center, 2601 A Paul Jones Street, Building 140, Great Lakes, Illinois.
For more information call 847-949-2553 or email Reservations must be received by January 18, 2014. Dinner tickets are $55 per person.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014: LCDR Mike Martin, a ten year Navy Seal presented a spell binding account of Special Operation Forces in general, and specific Navy Seal operations that he participated in, or led, along with full photo and power point slides. This included operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hailing from the Detroit, Michigan area, Michael (Mike) Martin received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1996. Upon commissioning as an Ensign in the United States Navy, he reported for SEAL training in Coronado, California. Mike’s career in the Navy included assignments at SEAL Team ONE, SEAL Team SEVEN, and SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE. Mike completed several leadership combat deployments to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. After the attacks on 9/11, he deployed to Afghanistan as a SEAL assault commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), to the Philippines as a lead advisor to the Philippine SEALs, and twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Some of Mike’s awards include Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal both with Combat Valor. Since leaving active duty he has been a financial advisor, currently with UBS in Chicago. He lives in Chicago with his wife, daughter, two sons, and a fourth child to be born in the summer of 2014.


Monday, December 9, 2013: The Aurora Council of the Navy League and the Rotary Club of Aurora will host the 44th Annual Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Luncheon and the 27th Annual Ted Brattin Civic Youth Awards. The luncheon will be held at 11:15 AM at the Gaslite Manor, located at 2485 Church Road, in Aurora, IL. The price for admission to the event is $20 per person, which includes a delicious buffet lunch, ceremonies, and a distinguished, high ranking Naval Officer guest speaker from the Great Lakes Naval Station. The Combined event honors our Pearl Harbor and Asiatic Fleet Attack Survivors, recognizes outstanding local area high school students, and enables the Aurora Council to continue to support our sea services. We expect that four Pearl Harbor survivors will attend and be honored at this event. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. For advance ticket orders, contact the Aurora Council through its website,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013: Brigadier General Thomas Draude, USMC (Ret.), the current CEO of the Marine Corps University Foundation in Quantico, VA will discuss the impact financial cutbacks (e.g., Sequester) are and will be having on the Marine Corps, and the role that the Marine Corps University and its Foundation have in helping to address these cutbacks. General Draude served in several combat tours in Vietnam where he was highly decorated, and commanded a Marine Division in Desert Storm. In Vietnam he took part in combat actions near Cha Lai, receiving two awards of the Silver Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medal with Palm. In a subsequent Vietnam tour acting as an Advisor to the Vietnamese military he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Honor Medal, First Class. General Draude has been married to Marysandra Campagna Draude, a former Marine officer, since November 1966. They have three children:, Loree, a former Naval aviator (F/A-18 and Lockheed S-3 Viking), now general manager of Mobile Identity, Inc. and mother of Sam and Julia; Patrick, a Navy Intelligence Commander and Naval Attaché in Panama and husband of Kris, an Embassy employee; and Ryan, a Senior Director for Choice Hotels, husband of Tori and father of Priya and Leena.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013: Major General Robert Heine, USA (Ret.) will discuss the role of the military in the Reconstruction of Iraq. General Heine was in charge of all reconstruction and interfaced with the State Department, the top Army General in Iraq (his boss), and the top Iraqi political structure in carrying out his duties. He will discuss the projects carried out, funding sources and reallocations, and the political problems that had to be overcome. He is a graduate of Auburn University, lives in Grand Rapids, MI, and is a highly decorated Army officer. He has a son who lives in Aurora, IL.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013: Kendall County States Attorney Eric Weis will discuss the duties and responsibilities of the States Attorney office and how they affect all citizens. He will also present actual case studies of criminal cases prosecuted by his office. Mr. Weis was a Deputy States Attorney in Kendall County starting in 1995. In 2006 he was elected to head that office and has successfully stood for reelection several times since. He is a graduate of North Central College and the Law School at Northern Illinois University. He is married with family and resides in Yorkville, IL.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013: The Council's annual picnic will take place at Kent & Sharon Catich's home at 2900 Tanner Rd., North Aurora, IL starting at 5:15PM. Plenty of food and drinks will be served, including beer and wine. In the event of pleasant weather, it will be held outside. If too hot or rainy, it will be held in their air conditioned basement, which has an elevator for persons who are unable to navigate stairs. There is no reason to miss this fabulous annual event. Uniform of the Day is "Picnic Dress".

Tuesday, July 16, 2013: Lieutenant Colonel Tom Wilczak, USA (Ret.) will speak on two topics: 1. War Planning for Contingency Operations in the Pacific Theater & Central Command; and, 2. Supporting Disabled & Homeless Veterans. Colonel Wilczak served as an Army Engineer Officer for 21 years on assignments that included a stint in Vietnam building the main supply road along the South China Sea…starting each day minesweeping the roadway looking for what is now called IED’s (Improvised Explosive Device). He also served as Commandant of HQ Company of one of the largest Engineer Units in the Army Reserve structure. He was the first commander of an Army Reserve Mobile Data Processing Center and finished his career as leading a systems group that developed the Engineer Part of War Plans for both the Middle East and Korea. His awards include a Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. Colonel Wilczak is a graduate of DePaul University.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013: Retired Illinois State Police Captain, Carl Gutierrez, will speak on the topic "Reflections on the Middle East." For ten years immediately prior to his 2012 retirement, Mr. Gutierrez headed the Illinois State Police task force working with the FBI and CIA on counterterrorism. Since retirement he has worked on a contract basis with federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies, and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, including Libya and Egypt. His work has also acquainted him with the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. This is a very timely presentation. Plan to arrive early.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 1715 Hours: The Aurora Council of the Navy League will hold its monthly dinner meeting on Tuesday, May 21, in the private room on the east end of Grandma's Table Restaurant, 1700 Douglas Road, Montgomery, IL (just 1 block north of US-30). The public is welcome, and reservations are not required.

The meeting finishes about 8:00 PM. The dinner cost is $17 for soup, salad, choice of three entrees, potato, vegetable, dessert, and drink. Alcoholic drinks are available from a cash bar.

FBI Special Agent Jeff Parsons (who will be introduced by FBI Special Agent Erich Krumrei) will speak on the "Mumbai Terror Attacks", twelve coordinated simultaneous attacks which killed 164 and wounded 308 in November 2008, and a planned attack on two journalists in Denmark. This case was investigated by Mr. Parsons and a terrorist was successfully prosecuted in Chicago due to his work.

In October 2009, two Chicago men were arrested and charged by the FBI for involvement in terrorism abroad, David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana. Headley, a Pakistani-American, was charged in November 2009 with scouting locations for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Headley is reported to have posed as an American Jew and is believed to have links with militant Islamist groups based in Bangladesh. On 18 March 2010, Headley pled guilty to a dozen charges against him thereby avoiding going to trial.

Mr. Parsons is a 1995 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy. After graduation, he served over seven years as a Surface Warfare Officer, with tours on the USS Cyclone (PC-1), the USS George Washington (CVN-73) and the OPNAV Staff at the Pentagon where he also earned a Master's Degree from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service in International Security Studies. Following his time in the Navy, he joined the FBI, where he has served for the past ten years, investigating terrorism issues exclusively while at the Bureau.

This will be a very interesting presentation. Plan to arrive early.

The Aurora Council of the Navy League has a membership drive underway and will pay half of your first year's dues to the Navy League. Ask for details at the meeting at check in.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 @ 1030 Hours to 1300 Hours: Open House onboard the USCGC WYACONDA. Get a first hand look at the equipment, talk with the Commanding Officer and crew, and visit with fellow Navy Leaguers. The Wyaconda has responsibility for the upper Mississippi River from Clinton, IA) to Minneapolis, MN and services nearly 1600 buoys and 375 fixed Aids to Navigation, keeping commerce moving efficiently and ensuring the safe navigation of all mariners. The Open House will be followed by lunch at the Point Cafe, 2370 Rhomberg Avenue, Dubuque, IA between 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM. (Private room with capacity of 40 - Order off menu).

Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 0930 Hours - 1730 Hours: Navy League Great Lakes Region & Northwest Area Annual Conference, 0930 to 1730, Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013: Our guest speaker will be Mr. Bill Marquardt, President of the Naval Air Station Glenview Museum who will discuss the museum's mission and role, its historical artifacts, and plans for the future.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013: This month's after dinner speaker will be the President & CEO of the Oswego Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Steve Hatcher. His topic is "Your Chamber of Commerce: What is it? What does it do? What are its challenges? How do neighboring communities compare with each other?"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013: This month's after dinner speaker will be the Area President, Great Lakes Region, of the Navy League of the U.S., retired Navy Master Chief, Denny Behr. Master Chief Behr will present the effect of budget cuts on the U.S. Navy, including the response the Navy will take in the event of sequestration. He will also provide updates on the organization & activities of the seven Councils in our Area, share best practices from the other Councils, and suggest communications improvements. These Councils include Aurora, Lake County, and Glenview in Illinois, and in Wisconsin they include LaCrosse, Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay.

Tuesday January 15, 2013: This month's after dinner speaker will be a Naval Officer assigned to the regional Recruiting Command who will speak on the needs, challenges, and projections for recruiting young Americans into the military. This is a topic of importance to maintaining our national security posture and readiness.

Saturday, January 12, 2013: at Naval Station Great Lakes, Port O’ Call Restaurant. Annual Navy League Chicago Council Dinner. The Guest of Honor and Speaker is Rear Admiral Rick Williamson, Commander, Navy Region Midwest. Arrangements have been made for a limited number of rooms at the Officers Quarters that is right next door to Port O'Call.


Monday, December 10, 2012: the Navy League Aurora Council and the Rotary Club of Aurora will host their 43rd Annual Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Luncheon and the 26th Annual Ted Brattin Civic Youth Awards at the Gaslite Manor, located at 2485 Church Road, in Aurora, IL. The combined event will commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor, honor several Pearl Harbor Survivors who will be in attendance, and present awards to students from local area high schools for their outstanding civic service. The guest speaker will be Commander Mike Thibodeau, USN, who currently serves as the Executive Officer, Naval Station Great Lakes. The Aurora Division of the U. S. Sea Cadets will present the colors at the event. Representatives from the East Aurora High School NJROTC, which is the largest NJROTC unit in the country, and the Mooseheart School NJROTC will also be in attendance.

****Four Dates in late November and early December: The Great Lakes Navy Band invites you and your families to be their guests at a performance from their upcoming Holiday Concert Series. No tickets are required as all concerts are FREE and open to the public.

  1. Sunday, December 9, 2012 @ 1500 Hours: Ross Auditorium, Naval Station Great Lakes

  2. Saturday, December 8, 2012 @ 1900 Hours: Frances Bedford Concert Hall,
    University of Wisconsin-Parkside,
    900 Wood RD, Kenosha, WI 53141

  3. Sunday, December 2, 2012 @ 1600 Hours: Valparaiso High School Auditorium, Valparaiso, IN 2727 N Campbell ST, Valparaiso, IN 46385

  4. Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 1930 Hours: Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Avenue Naperville, Illinois 60540 (***Highly recommended to attend this concert!! This is the first time NBGL has performed in this hall and the acoustics are incredible. Chicago Symphony Orchestra records here!)****

Tuesday, November 20, 2012: The after dinner speaker will be Major Mark Emerson, head of the military ROTC unit at Marmion Academy. He will describe the program the cadets undergo, and discuss some of the significant accomplishments of Marmion's program, e.g., sending 4 graduates last year to the U.S. Naval Academy on full scholarships.

Sunday, October 21, 2012 @ 1300 Hours: 2nd Annual Calumet Harbor Chili Cookoff: Where: Coast Guard Station, Calumet Harbor.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012: The after dinner speaker will be Oswego Police Chief Dwight Baird who will speak on the Responsibilities of Modern Municipal Police Departments. This is a great opportunity for Navy Leaguers to learn the extensive responsibilities carried out by local police departments to protect our safety and security.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012: The after dinner speaker will be Ms. Elizabeth (Beth) Polito, the Director of Marketing of the Illinois USO. She will speak on the activities of the USO in support of out service men and women.