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A Powerful Patriotic Presentation

The Forest Acres Quilting Club was once again honored to participate in the Veteran’s Day Assembly at Freeman High School in Adams on November 9th. For the third consecutive year we awarded Quilts of Valor to four deserving veterans from the Adams area, Charles Harms, Paul Nyland, Larry Remmers, and Wayne Rogman.

The program began with “A Salute to Freedom” and “America the Beautiful” performed by the Freeman High School Band. The colors were presented by the VFW and American Legion Color Guards and the audience of Freeman students, staff, and community members was welcomed by Superintendent Randy Page. The Band then performed “The Star Spangled Banner” and the kindergarten classes led the Pledge of Allegiance. The Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen winners were announced with the Patriot’s Pen winner, Rebecca Ford, reciting her speech. The high school choir then performed “America: The New Colossus”.

Our Quilt of Valor presentation began with club member, Velma Lassen, telling the audience about the history of the Quilts of Valor Foundation and the Forest Acres Quilting Club. She announced that over 200,000 quilts have been awarded to veterans touched by war since Catherine Roberts began Quilts of Valor in 2003. She also told about the quilts made in Nebraska that were awarded at the All-Female Honor Flight in September. At this point Superintendent Randy Page invites families to join their veteran on the floor for the awarding of the quilts.

Our first recipient was Charles Harms, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army from April 1968 to March 1970. He was trained as a cook and sent to Phu Bai, Vietnam where the Army and Marine cooks prepared three meals a day for over 2500 soldiers. He remembers hearing guns being fired when he first arrived and watching the lights on the helicopters in the evenings as they were involved in combat. Charles received a scrappy quilt called Pinwheels Plus. The pattern was found in the May/June 2012 edition of The Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine.

Our second recipient was Paul Nyland, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army from June 1968 to March 1971. He worked as a food inspector for the year that he spent in Vietnam. He continued that work at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey until his discharge. He remembers several instances when soldiers were told to refrain from wearing their uniforms when they went off of the base because of the anger over America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Paul received a quilt called Stars By The Dozen designed by Lisa Christensen of Three Kids Design Studio.

Our third recipient was Larry Remmers, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy from May 1966 to February 1970. He was trained to work on the RA5C reconnaissance plane and spent time on two aircraft carriers in their cruises to Vietnam. He recounted the birth of his daughter while he was deployed and having to wait to see photos of her until his wife could send them via the mail. Larry received a quilt that was made using Moda Cake Mix #3. The Quilting Club received help making this quilt from elementary students, Rilyn Otto and Maryn Oltman.

Our final recipient was Wayne Rogman, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army from April 1969 to March 1971. He attended leadership training which prepared him to be a platoon guide. In Vietnam he served as a forward advisor helping to protect the soldiers in the infantry and calling in extra support when necessary. Wayne received a quilt called Flag of Freedom. The pattern was found in the March/April 2015 edition of the Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine.

Velma summed up the meaning behind our quilts by stating:

“A Quilt of Valor says — in a way mere words cannot —thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your Valor. Thank you for standing in harm’s way to protect the freedoms enjoyed by the rest of us. Thank you for putting your life on hold to serve. Your Quilt of Valor is our appreciation for the fulfillment of your duty.”

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