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The Reagan Distinguished Award Committee of the exclusive Jonathan Club presented Gen. Chuck Yeager with the 2005 Reagan Distinguished American Award on May 18, 2005, in Los Angeles, California. Following a private reception of Gen. Yeager and his wife Victoria, the gold medallion award was presented before 400 Jonathan Club members and guests. The ceremony was highlighted by the USAR 311th Corps Support Command Color Guard, “Star Spangled Banner” and musical tribute to Gen. Yeager by the USAR 300th United States Army Band, tributes to the life and career of Gen. Yeager by Jonathan Club President Patricia Griffith, invocation by The Right Reverend J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, and vocal tribute by Jonathan Club singer Dennis McNeil. It was noted that the presentation was being made just 5 days before the 20th anniversary of Gen. Yeager receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan. Following a general reception for the Yeagers in the Florentine Lounge, a lavish celebration dinner was held in the Jonathan Club’s Main Dining Room.
Also in attendance were Gale & Jane Bensussen (CEO, Leiner Health Products), Patty Jenkins (Writer/Director of “Monster”, an Academy Award Winning Movie), John and Martha King (Co-Chairmen and Co-Owners of King Schools), John M. Lorentz (Controller for 21st Century Insurance Company), Clay Lacy (President, Clay Lacy Aviation), Julius Schulman (world-renowned architectural photographer), Robert Tarn (Executive VP, Chuck Yeager Foundation & Boeing Sr. Engineer), Bill Tilley (Chairman and CEO of Jacmar Companies), and many other friends and admirers of Gen. Chuck Yeager.
The Reagan Distinguished American Award was created by the Jonathan Club to recognize individuals for their contribution to our country. Awardees are citizens of the United States who have demonstrated extraordinary qualities of leadership in their field of endeavor, and devotion to the values that have sustained our country since its founding. Prior recipients are Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite, the Apollo 8 astronauts (Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders), Coach John Wooden, Arnold Palmer, Elizabeth Hanford Dole, Reverend Billy Graham, George Shultz, and President and Mrs. Gerald Ford. The gold medallion award is crafted by Tiffany & Co., and an oil portrait of the honoree is created by artist Jon Swihart for perpetual display in the club’s Reagan Room.
Chuck Yeager poster of the Reagan Award.
Chuck and Victoria Yeager.
Chuck Yeager with the USAR 300th United States Army Band.
Dinner deserts were small pastry “models” of the Bell X-1 supersonic research aircraft.
Right Reverend J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, his wife Mary Bruno, and grandson, with the Yeagers.
John and Martha King with the Yeagers.
Bob Tarn and John Lorentz with the Yeagers.
John Lorentz, Martha and John King, and Bob Tarn at the post-presentation reception for Gen. Chuck Yeager.
Bob Reza and George Dominquez with the Yeagers.
USAR 311th Corps Support Command Color Guard.
Victoria Yeager, after presentation of beautiful bouquet of roses.
Chuck Yeager addressing the congregation.
Unveiling of the oil portrait by artist Jon Swihart.
Chuck and Victoria Yeager with oil portrait, after hanging in the Reagan Room.