Throughout the month of November, we’re recognizing the sacrifices made by U.S. veterans and their families in the name of protecting our freedom. This Veterans and Military Families Month, Wintrust is honoring the courage and commitment of military service members past and present by sharing the stories and perspectives of our employees, partners, and communities that express what freedom means to us.

Our Commitment Starts at the Top

Tony Buttrick - Headshot

Tony Buttrick


As we honor veterans and military families this month, I’m reminded of a distinct memory of a Veteran’s Day celebration I attended in Washington, D.C. as a young teenager and the profound impact that it had on me. My father served 30 years in the Air Force and was always good about sharing “the why” behind his decision to serve, the importance of giving back, and that I should never take freedom for granted. Without question, these conversations, along with the military events and celebrations I attended with him, laid the groundwork for me joining the Navy at 17 years old, which began my own 23-year journey of Naval service.

I started out as a photographer and later joined the Special Operations community as a U.S. Navy DeepSea Diver, assigned to Navy Seal teams, the Naval Underwater Photo team, and several other shipboard assignments. Following that, I was commissioned as a Naval Officer and served my final 10 years of active duty with the Office of Naval Intelligence as a technical advisor to the CIA.

It was during my time in the intelligence community that I walked into a conference room and observed a large photograph with an inscription I’ll never forget. It stated: “For those who fight for it, freedom has a special flavor the protected will never know.” That moment has stayed with me and always will. All who served before me, with me, and after me now—they understand the privilege of freedom, and that freedom is NOT free. Just one look at recent world events drives that message home.

From one veteran to another, I want to say thank you for your service, and for protecting the freedoms that we all enjoy. Happy Veterans and Military Families Month!

Edward J. Wehmer - Headshot

Edward J. Wehmer



November is Veterans and Military Families Month. We honor and celebrate veterans, active-duty military service members, and their families. Their dedication deserves recognition and appreciation, and we salute their commitment and sacrifice for our country.

Wintrust has long honored our military service members. Our long-standing partnership with the USO is one of our most valued. Through this partnership, Wintrust is committed to hiring veterans and helping military members identify their next act after their service concludes. We are also a proud supporter of Honor Flight Chicago, which recognizes the bravery, determination, and patriotism of America’s senior military veterans with an all-expense paid journey to our nation’s capital for a day of honor, thanks, and inspiration.

Wintrust will continue to seek out partnerships and other opportunities to support our heroes. We will continue lending our expertise and support to current and former service members—including providing VA loans through our Veterans First Mortgage group—to support their financial security goals.

Please join me in showing special gratitude to all those who protect our freedom.

We're here for you at any stage of your life

We're here for you at any stage of your life

We're here for you at
any stage of your life

Heroes Welcome 1

A hero’s welcome

Wintrust is a committed partner to Honor Flight Chicago, a nonprofit organization that pays tribute to American veterans with a one-of-a-kind journey to Washington, D.C. After a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020, Honor Flight Chicago resumed its trips in 2021. For one Wintrust employee, the organization’s late August flight carried special meaning.

Heroes Welcome 2

Partner spotlight: USO

Partner spotlight: USO

The United Service Organization (USO) serves more than 350,000 military service members and their families annually through programs and services designed to support them in their everyday lives. Wintrust is proud to support the USO in its efforts to forge strong and lasting connections between service members and their communities.

Different families, a common
sacrifice in pursuit of freedom

Different families, a common sacrifice in
pursuit of freedom

Different families, a common sacrifice in pursuit of freedom

Grandparents. Parents. Siblings. Cousins. Children. For these employees of Veterans First, a division of Wintrust Mortgage, the commitment and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes is personal. During Veterans and Military Families Month, Wintrust joins Veterans First in expressing our gratitude for the service of our nation’s veterans and active service members, some of whom we have the privilege and honor of knowing.

Veterans First Mortgage is a trade name of Wintrust Mortgage. Mortgage Lending is provided through our affiliate Wintrust Mortgage. Wintrust Mortgage is a division of Barrington Bank & Trust Company, N.A., a Wintrust Community Bank, NMLS #449042

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