The Freeman Public School’s Veteran’s Day Assembly on November 11, 2022 was the setting for the Forest Acres Quilting Club’s most recent Quilts of Valor award presentation. The four veterans who were awarded quilts were Scott Gronewold, originally from Adams now residing in Kansas City, Bill Womack, also originally from Adams now residing in Omaha, and Adams residents Russ Neil and Kevin Lugenbeel.
Scott Gronewold served in the Nebraska Army National Guard as a medical helicopter pilot with tours of duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq. In 2006 he developed a nurse mentoring,program for the Afghanistan National Army and the Afghanistan National Police. He is a 2007 graduate of the National War College in Washington D.C. After 31 years of distinguished service Scott retired as a Brigadier General.
Scott’s quilt was made from a pattern called Tile Time from the February 2021 edition of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I chose this pattern because of the unique star designs and the chance to showcase some large prints that we had in our fabric stash.
Russ Neil served in the United States Army as a supply specialist where he was a member of the 4th Infantry Division, Alpha Troop, 2nd Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry - this was also General Custer’s Cavalry. Russ served 18 months in South Korea, one mile from the Demilitarized Zone, and was discharged after four years of service with the rank of E-4 Specialist.
Russ’s quilt was made from a pattern called Winter Sparkles which was not originally designed as a Quilt of Valor. I found this pattern in the January/February 2022 edition of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. The stars in this quilt caught my eye as well as the opportunity to make it scrappy and use up some of the smaller pieces of fabric in our stash. The background that I chose was taupe on white which made it easier for the stitchers to determine the right side from the wrong side of the fabric. My options for the quilting thread color were either white or the new taupe that I purchased when I was at the AQS in Des Moines. I ultimately chose the taupe thread color and was so glad that I did as it highlighted the quilted stars in the negative space.
Bill Womack served in the United States Air Force after having been born in Berlin Germany and spending the first 12 years of his life there. After gaining US citizenship and enlisting in the service he was sent to Germany to provide a military presence there after the Korean War ended. He was discharged after two years of service with the rank of Airman First Class. Twenty years later Bill joined the Army Reserves where he served as a drill instructor and supply sergeant for an additional five years.
Bill’s quilt was made from a pattern called Sapphire Song found in the January/February 2021 of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. It was another pattern that was not originally designed as a Quilt of Valor but it caught my eye as I thought we could make the reds and blues scrappy and again use up some small pieces of fabric from our stash. I also liked it because it using one of my favorite techniques - paper piecing - which allows for some unusual shapes in the blocks.
Kevin Lugenbeel served in the Nebraska Army National Guard and received training as a tanker with two deployments to Germany and one deployment each to Bosnia and Afghanistan. His main duties included driving tanks, loading and unloading ammunition, and doing basic tank maintenance. After 20 years of service Kevin was discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Kevin’s quilt was made from a pattern called American Valor found in the January/February 2020 edition of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. While this was not the usual scrappy quilt that I am drawn to it does use a variety of fabrics, especially several shades of blue.
The Forest Acres Quilting Club is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Freeman Veteran’s Day assembly. We are happy to highlight the military careers of veterans who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.