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An Extraordinary Evening

The Forest Acres Quilting Club was honored to award two Quilts of Valor on the evening of February 8, 2024 in the basement of the Methodist Church in Adams. Receiving quilts were Army and Nebraska Army National Guard veteran Jeremy Rupprecht of Cortland and Army veteran Ralph Wittler of Firth. A small but very supportive group was on hand to witness the award ceremony including family members and members of the Adams community.

Jeremy Rupprecht served in the United States Army from 1997-2000. After basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, he was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In July of 200 he transferred to the Nebraska Army National Guard and served there until his retirement in September of 2023 at which time he had achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class. During his time with the Guard he was deployed five times for a total of four years in support of the Global War on Terror following the attacks on September 11, 2001. During his deployments he spent time in Egypt, El Salvador, Iraq, Kosovo, Kuwait, the United Arab Emerites, and Qatar. He received numerous awards for his service. In retirement Jeremy is continuing his work with the Nebraska Army National Guard as a civilian.

Jeremy’s quilt is from a pattern called Cherries and Cream found in the May/June 2020 edition of the Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. It was originally designed as a two-color quilt in scrappy reds and whites. I chose to make the nine-patch blocks and center units blue and white to give it a patriotic look. It was quilted with an all-over star design in white thread. In the summer of 2023 this quilt was entered into the Open Division at the Gage County Fair and received a blue ribbon. This quilt as well as two other Forest Acres Quilting Club quilts received an award for the Best Three Quilts exhibited in the Open Division at the fair.

Ralph Wittler enlisted in the United States Army in 1987. He attended basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey and then received additional training at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. This training included work as a machinist. He was then deployed to Germany for eleven months where he repaired parts to support maintenance and patriot missile systems. Upon his return to the United States he was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and then Fort Carson, Colorado. From Fort Carson he was deployed to Saudi Arabia for six months where he supported the work of the 52nd Engineer Battalion. He was discharged from Fort Carson in 1992 having earned the rank of E-4. 

Ralph’s quilt is from a pattern called Liberty X-Frames by designed by Sue Harvey and Sandy Boobar of Pine Tree Country Quilts. The fabrics are from the Liberty Glory Freedom collection from QT Fabrics and feature several small panels. This particular quilt was made by Kim Gleisberg and donated to the Forest Acres Quilting Club through the Quilt of Valor Foundations Nebraska State Coordinator Sara Kenny specifically for this award presentation. 

These veterans were nominated to receive a Quilt of Valor by a friend or family member on the Quilt of Valor website - Subsequently the Forest Acres Quilting Club was assigned to make the award. Club members enjoyed visiting with and getting to know these veterans following the ceremony. Since they reside in our area we found that we had several connections to them. We were also glad for the opportunity to share the mission of Quilts of Valor with a new audience as well as our process in making the quilts that we award.

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