It was a beautiful day last week when several Veteran residents at Alamo Rose were honored with patriotic themed quilts made by the park’s quilters.
Two years ago, the summer quilters wanted to do something special for the park’s own resident Veterans. Last year they recognized a number of World War II Veterans. This year they recognized 28 Veterans in the park.
Diana Gatewood said, “These ladies and gentlemen have come from all walks of life. Some were very young when they got the calling, some a little older. Many had nothing in common with one another until they put on the uniform and raised their right hand.
“We are here today to thank them and salute their bravery,” she added.
Each quilt was handmade by members and friends of the Alamo Rose Summer Quilters under the direction of Rachel Patch. Doris Anderson took on the arduous task of quilting them and another group of ladies assembled the quilts. The quilts were all made with red, white, and blue colors. Some featured artwork in the center, while others had intricate designs.
“It was difficult to decide who received which quilt,” she said. “So, they were wrapped. They are all lovely.”
Before the event was in full swing, a brief history lesson was shared about the Star-Spangled Banner.
Prior to the presentations and the potluck dinner, the US flag and flags of military branches were presented by members of those branches.
Flag presenters were Jim Neighbors, Richard Velich, Ray DeCatur, Paul Blough, Frank Hostler, and Gordon Swanson. Pastor John Gale said a blessing on the food.
Diana went on to recognize veterans in attendance, even if they weren’t getting a quilt that day, by calling out each branch and asking them to stand. She also recognized firefighters, first responders, law enforcement, and others – American and Canadian.
“These are all heroes,” said Diana. “They all deserve a huge round of applause. Thank you all for your service.”
Diana and Jack Gatewood, Barbara Brown, and Rachel then went on calling recipients, one-by-one, sharing a brief bio detailing their time in the military. These individuals served anywhere from four to sixteen years.
Those receiving quilts were:
Frank Hostler, Air Force; Paul Blough, Navy; John Gale, Navy; Roger C. Heilig, Air Force; Steve Jackson, Navy; Philip Altheide, Air Force; Raymond DeCatur, Marine Corps; Jerry D. Broadfield, Air Force; Ken Kay, Navy Reserves; Kenneth Pingel, Air Force; Gary Dennis Pittman, Air Force; Bob Culbertson, Navy; Rachel Patch, Army; Allen R. Trafford, Army and Army National Guard; Larry Booth, Army National Guard; David Jones, Navy; Kevin Coan, Air Force; William Rathkamp, Army; Melvin Ney, Coast Guard; Wayne Mick, Navy; Gary Fesler, Navy; Duane R. Heley, Navy; Roger Tangora, Army; Rodney Druce, Navy; Gordon James Swanson, Coast Guard; John Richard Thierfelder, Army; Allen Schwartz, Air Force; and Charles Albrecht, Air Force.
Many of these served in Vietnam or Korea. Others were stationed, or traveled, in the states, Germany, Newfoundland, Iceland, Thailand, Japan, and other places. One noted that she served in a MASH unit. One marched in President Nixon’s inauguration parade. A Coast Guard member shared that he enjoyed his service, “but didn’t like getting seasick.”
One of the veterans added a note to his bio, saying, “Thank you to the girls quilting that remember the Veterans. It is very nice to have you think of us.”
You can tell this sentiment was shared by all of those that received a quilt.
During an intermission, Sherry Stinson, accompanied by Montana Cook, sang “Red, White, and Blue.” A special reading was done by Jack Gatewood of a poem written by Josh Sapp titled “A Place of Bones.”
Diana ended the program thanking those that helped decorate and organize the program, giving a special thanks to all of the summer quilters who spent many hours designing and sewing the quilts.
“There was a small group of ladies who solely worked on the patriot quilts,” she said. “They took them home with them in the summer and worked on them tirelessly. Thank you.”
Those ladies were Montana Cook, Rachel Patch, Diana Montgomery, Veda Burtchell, Diana Gatewood, Jackie Kopplin, Carrie Dudley and Jean Kornish.