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Heartwarming Awards

The chapel at Gold Crest Retirement Center in Adams was the venue for the Forest Acres Quilting Club’s most recent Quilt of Valor awards ceremony. Family, friends, and Gold Crest residents gathered on Tuesday afternoon, May 2nd, to honor veterans Lester Languis and Ervin Buhr. These two share a special bond as Lester’s daughter, Carol, and Ervin’s son, Dean, are married.

Lester Languis was drafted into the United States Army in 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War. He received his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and then spent time at Camp McCoy near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. In his work as a combat engineer he used his training to build “floating bridges”, also known as Bailey Bridges. These structures were important as they served to get vehicles across rivers and areas of destruction when the original bridge became impassable. After two years of service Lester was discharged in Fort Leonard Wood having attained the rank of Corporal.

Lester’s quilt is an original design that features cross-stitched stars hand-embroidered by Sharon Bohling of Tecumseh. The embroidered stars alternate with blocks that show off some of the large print fabrics that we have had tucked away in our stash. To add some length and width to the center we stitched a couple of borders that featured gold metallic in the fabric. That gave the quilt just the sparkle it needed. I stitched an all-over star design using white thread and then added the binding to complete this quilt.

Ervin Buhr enlisted in the United States Army National Guard in 1950 and was called to active duty within two weeks as the Korean War was just beginning. He received his basic training in Bangor, Maine where he prepared planes with ammunition that were then sent to Korea. He also worked as a heavy equipment operator. After spending a year in Maine, Ervin was transferred to Alexandria, Louisiana where he again worked with heavy equipment. He also helped build a structure used for citing ammunition guns on planes that were sent to Korea. After two years serving in the Army National Guard, Ervin was discharged in Alexandria, Louisiana having attained the rank of Corporal.

Ervin’s quilt was constructed from a mystery quilt pattern sponsored by the Quilt of Valor Foundation. Each Friday for eight weeks a new set of instructions was emailed to registered participants who had no idea what the quilt would look like when it was finished. This is the second quilt that we have made in this way. We added a dusty blue bandana-print to the backing that added even more interest to this quilt. I stitched an all-over star design using my favorite gold thread to accent the gold fabric in the quilt.

Attendees at the presentation were also informed about the history of the Quilts of Valor Foundation as well as the Forest Acres Quilting Club. Since its beginning in 2003, QOVF has awarded 345,365 quilts to veterans of World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf Wars. The Forest Acres Quilting Club has awarded 60 Quilts of Valor since the group began sewing in the summer of 2016. We have been very thankful for the financial support that we have received from various individuals as well as the 5th and 6th grade students and teachers at Freeman, the Adams State Bank, Thrivent Financial and the Norris Public Power District. We look forward to awarding many more Quilts of Valor in the years to come.

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