Thirteen Quilts of Valor presented in Garwin
Thirteen area men and women were honored for their service to this country as they protected our freedom. Each service man or woman was presented with a Quilt of Valor during ceremonies at the Garwin City Park during a ceremony held on July 2. Members of the Central Iowa Quilt Sew-ciety were on hand to help with the presentation of the quilts.
Sew-ciety representative, Marvis Drew, explained that the Quilt of Valor is the brainchild of Blue Star Mom Catherine Roberts of Seaford, Delaware. Her son had been deployed to Iraq and she wanted to see the returning warriors welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved.
Since 2003 the Quilts of Valor has become a national grassroots community effort honoring veterans of all ages. The quilts are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts. To this date around 300,000 quilts have been issued to servicemen and women.
The sea of vibrant colors of the Quilts was as unique as the experience of each of those honored. Each person willingly disrupted their lives and chose to serve their country. The brief description of each honored person is but a “drop in the bucket” of the sacrifices each made. Our country is truly indebted to these men and women.
Ann Godfrey served in the army during Desert Storm. She was an E4 Food Service specialist and received many awards while stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas. She is a member of Tama American Legion. Her quilt, “Salute to Service” was made by Cheryl Kupka and Denise Starits.
Jerry Abbe served in the Air Force from 1958 to ’62. Abbe was a crew chief on KB-50J, where he refueled tanker planes while in the air. He flew 110 flights and even met his wife, Sarah, in Louisiana. They were married 40 years before her passing. Abbe’s quilt “Expressions” was created by Dean and Vicki Fisher.
Travis Anderson served five years during Desert Storm in the Army from 1991-’96 in military police with a rank of E4. He spent time in Germany, Cuba, and Panama. He belongs to the Gladbrook American Legion and his quilt, “American Idols” was pieced by Ann Kuhlman and quilted by MaryBeth Pusillo.
Terry Cecak served in the Navy from 1966-’69 and did two tours to Vietnam. While stateside he was based in Gulfport, Mississippi. His quilt is called “Suzie Q” and was pieced by Charlene Hulin and quilted by Chris Drummer of Tama Quilting Company.
Dawn Dolezal served in the Army from September 1981 to October 2003. She was a Sergeant First Class, S-3. She was in the NCOIC Battalion as a Senior Morse Interceptor. Dolezal’s quilt is called “Nine Sisters” to represent all the sisters she made in the service. It was pieced by Cheryl Kupka and quilted by MaryBeth Pusillo.
Mike Kupka served in the Navy from 1985-1989 as an Aviation Third Class. That’s a person who handles bombs. He says he “saw half the world while serving.” His quilt was “The Divided Highway.” Kupka is a member of the VFW.
Michael Lewis was in the Army and Army National Guard for 12 years. He was an E-8/1SG First Sergeant, 91B military police, 25 W Telecommunications Operations Chief. He had deployments to Air force bases in Germany, Egypt, and the Major Academy at Ft. Bliss, Texas. Lewis’ quilt, “Fernando” was created by Dean and Vicki Fisher.
Michael Mathern served in the US Navy from 1979-75 where he worked on board the USS Camden. He did three South Pacific tours to the south China Sea off the coast of Vietnam. His ship was in the circle of ships in December of 1972 when Apollo 17 splashed down. Mathern’s quilt, “We The People” was pieced by Martha Fisher and quilted by MaryBeth Pusillo, with embellishments by Gloria DeBower.
Tom Podhajsky served in the Army from 1965-1967. He was a clerk typist and A&D clerk in the 67th EVAC Hospital in Vietnam. This hospital participated in 15 campaigns. Podhajsky’s Quilt, “Wave Length” was pieced by Ann Kuhlman and quilted by Terry Lyon.
Ronald Purdy served in the Army Wolfhounds 125th during the Vietnam war from 1970-1972 in Army infantry ground as a Private 1st class. Purdy’s quilt, “Stars for Home and Heroes” was pieced by Carrie Glessner and quilted by Jan Blumgarden.
Ronnie Sieck served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He was a ship postal clerk with rank of E-4. His ship was hit by enemy fire in December 1972 and three shipmates lost their lives. Sieck earned the National Defense Combat action ribbon. Sieck’s quilt is “Phiris Radiance” It was pieced by Cheryl Kupka and quilted by Gloria DeBower.
Allen Starck served in the Navy during the Vietnam conflict. He served three tours and was a Petty Officer 3d Class and an Electrician Mate. Starck’s quilt “Indigo Blue” was pieced by Becky Sharpshair and Carrie Glessner and quilted by Gloria DeBower.
Duane Yilek served in the Army from 1965-1967 as an E-5. He earned the National Defense award, Vietnam Service Award, and Vietnam Campaign Award. “Falling Stars” is Yilek’s quilt. It was pieced by Martha Fisher and quilted by Gloria DeBowers.