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Quilts of Valor presented to 26 area veterans
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Quilts of Valor presented to 26 area veterans

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ASHLAND – Two groups of military veterans were honored with Quilts of Valor made by local quilters during ceremonies held over the weekend at the Ashland VFW Hall.

In total, 26 veterans received these handmade quilts through the Quilts of Valor, a national program. The Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003 by Catherine Roberts, the mother of a veteran. Since its founding, the organization has awarded over 271,000 quilts to veterans of military actions, conflicts and wars, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The following veterans received Quilts of Valor.

Robert “Rex” Sherman

Sherman volunteered for the Army in September 1971. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He was sent to Vietnam in March 1972. He returned to Fort Carson, Colo., and was discharged in June 1973. Sherman left the service with rank of E-4.

Jeff Wilch

Wilch served with the U.S. Army from November 1969 to September 1971. He went to basic training at Fort Ord, Calif., He was then sent to Fort Hood where he got his orders to go to Southeast Asia.

Wilch spent 13 months in Vietnam with the First Cavalry, 228 Aviation, B Company on a base camp called Bearcat. He was a door gunner on a CH-47 helicopter, also called a Chinook and he was discharged as a Specialist 4.

Reggie Moller

Moller enlisted in the US Navy in January 1968. He went to Boot Camp in San Diego, Calif. While in boot camp, he got word that his brother had been wounded in Vietnam.

He was chosen for Communication Technician training and he was sent to Pensacola, Fla. In the fall of 1968, he was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii at Wahiawa Communication Center. He worked as teletype operator, sending and receiving secret messages.

In October 1970, Moller was stationed in the Philippines at San Miguel Navy Base. He continued as teletype operator while stationed there. In June 1971, he went on temporary assignment of duty to USS Oriskany in the Gulf of Tonkin performing same communication duties.

Park Robinson

Robinson was in the Army four years in active duty beginning January 1980, and then he spent six years inactive. He left the Army in January of 1984. His rank was Specialist 4.

He attended Basic Training and Advance Individual Training at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla. He trained to be a forward observer. He spent three and one-half years in Berlin Brigade as a fire support specialist. He was responsible for observing three infantry battalions, one tank company and the field artillery.

Steven R. Johnson

Johnson spent two years in the U.S. Army as a Specialist 4 from 1969 to 1971. He took basic training at Fort Lewis, Wash. After spending his first full year at Fort Lewis, he requested service to Vietnam.

Johnson was assigned to a support facility at Phu Bai. He spent a year there assigned to a transportation group. He operated a boom wrecker.

Michael Johnson

Johnson served in Nebraska Army National Guard Unit, 24th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) in Lincoln. He trained for utility helicopter mechanic and crew chief on UH-1 “Huey” helicopters.

He spent 10 years of service from January l987 through l997, obtaining the rank of sergeant. He was deployed to Desert Shield/Desert Storm from Nov. 17, 1990, to May 9, 1991.

Johnson was deployed to Saudia Arabia with the 24th Medical Company (Air Ambulance).

Bob Whiteaker

Whiteaker volunteered for the draft and was inducted into the Army in September 1966. He attended basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Knox, Ky., earning a First Graduate in vehicle repair. He was then promoted to Specialist Fourth Class and served the remainder of time at Fort Carson, Colo. He was discharged July 1968.

Ronald E. Pletcher

Pletcher served in the U.S. Air Force from October 1968 until his retirement in November 1992. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving in both Thailand and Vietnam from August 1970 until December 1971. He was stationed in Okinawa, England and Germany for short periods.

Pletcher spent most of his career at Offutt Air Force Base as a communication/navigation technician and later on as an air crew member. He flew on the EC-135 “Looking Glass” Airbourne Company Post Aircraft and on the E4-B Presidential Support Fleet.

Kenny Danner

Danner served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1969. He took his Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. After Basic Training he then completed his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, graduating with a MOS of 91 B20 also known as “medic”. He served as a medic in Vietnam with the A Company - First Battalion - Eighth Infantry - Fourth Infantry Division. He received two Purple Hearts for wounds he encountered while serving his country.

Charlie Williams

Williams’ tour of duty was in the U.S. Navy from August 1961 to June 1965.

He left for boot camp in San Diego, Calif., on August 14, 1961.

While waiting for Radioman ‘A’ School he worked in the mess at the Naval Training Center. After Radio ‘A’ School, he was stationed at Naval Communications Station in San Diego.

He got out of the Navy on June 17, 1965 as a Radioman Third Class Petty Officer.

Vern Rosenboom

Rosenboom joined the Navy in 1969, took boot camp in San Diego and went to Dental Technician A School in San Diego.

He was stationed at a dispensary at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. In 1972, he received orders for Fleet Marine Force Camp, Camp Lejeune, N.C. where he attended Field Medical Service School. After finishing that, his Navy Classification was changed to 8707, Field Medical Tech.

From there he was attached to the Second Dental Company. In 1973, he was attached to the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, and shipped out on a cruise on the USS Frances Marion, a troop transport. He was honorably discharged in Sept. 1973, Petty Officer Third Class.

Don Gilbert

Gilbert entered the Army in February 1969. He was with the “I” Corp - Republic of South Vietnam Army – “America Division” 3/21 196th Light Infantry Brigade. His rank was Sergeant E-5. He was discharged in September 1970.

Ron Misek

Misek joined the U.S. Navy in 1962. He was sent to Boot Camp in San Francisco. Then he went to Class A Radioman School in San Diego. While in Radio School he volunteered to serve on submarines. He went to submarine school in New London, Conn. Then he was sent to Charleston, S.C. to serve aboard the submarine USS Trumpetfish SS425. They patrolled the North Atlantic and out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He got out of the military at the end of 1965 as a Radioman Third Class, Submarine Qualified.

Charles Burr

Burr joined the Nebraska National Guard on May 1, 1966. His unit was Headquarters, Headquarters Company (HHC) 1-134th Infantry, 67th Brigade and was in Headquarters Platoon in Omaha. He was with them in the riots in July 1966 in Omaha before he went to basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas as an infantryman.

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Then he went to Fort Ord, Calif. and trained as a light weapons specialist. He returned to his unit in December 1966 and was reassigned to Detachment 1 Combat Support Company 1-134th Infantry 67th Brigade in Wahoo.

In 1974 to 1975, he was on the State Marksmanship Team. In 1985 the company was reassigned as Company D 1st Battalion 195th Armor, Wahoo. He left the Nebraska Guard on Nov. 19, 1966, with 20 years and nine months served, and retired from the armed forces March 17, 2007 as a First Sergeant.

Dan Powell

Powell enlisted for three years in the U.S. Army after receiving a draft notice. He entered on June 26, 1970. He went to Fort Lewis, Wash. for basic training. After Basic Training he went to Fort Lee, Va. for supply school. His duty station was at 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany.

He was transferred out of the regular Army on April 10, 1972. He joined the National Guard. He finished his three years in the 24th Med out of Lincoln, with the rank of Specialist Fifth Class, which is a Buck Sergeant.

Lester Roeber

Roeber was drafted into the military service and served in the U.S. Army from Nov. 29, 1966, to Nov. 24, 1968, during the Vietnam War. He took his basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas and Advanced Individual Training was at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. before being assigned to the 475th Transportation Company at Fort Riley, Kan., where he was stationed from April 10, 1967 to Dec. 8, 1967.

He was promoted to Sergeant E5 on Nov. 2, 1967. He was sent to Vietnam and assigned to the 541st Transportation Company from Jan. 24, 1968 to Nov. 21, 1968 serving during the TET Offensive. He spent time stationed in the Central Highlands at An Khe, Pleiku, Kontum and Dak To.

Dale Sturzenegger

Sturzenegger was inducted into the United States Army in June 1970 and left for boot camp in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. After completion of those duties, he was sent to Long Bien, Vietnam.

Sturzenegger started out with the 299th Combat Engineer Battalion at Long Bien and went on to Qui Nhon, Shrang Valley, Da Nang, Pleiku and Bien Hoa. He was moved to the 357th Land Clearing Engineers and worked with the 101st Infantry.

When he came home at the end of December 1971 his rank was Specialist E-5 Staff Sergeant.

Maybre Johns

Johns joined the military service in August 1971. He was sent to Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, where he was trained as a security specialist. His first duty assignment was Bitburg Air Force Base, Germany from January 1972 to January 1974.

In January 1974, Johns was transferred to Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming to guard missile silos in Wyoming and western Nebraska. His active duty ended in 1975.

In February 1983, he joined the Nebraska Air National Guard in the 155th Security Forces. In October 1989, he changed career fields and became a heavy equipment operator with the 155th Civil Engineer Squadron.

Over 16 years, he spent time with his unit in Israel, Panama, Canada, Italy, Hawaii, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. He served a short tour in Iraq.

In August 2006 he retired from civil engineering and returned to security forces. In September 2006, he was deployed to Southern Arizona for 10 months in support of the border fence. He officially retired in February 2008 with 25 1/2 years of service.

Tamitha Johns

Johns was with the United States Marine Corp from 1984 to 1985. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. as a supply administrator and operation specialist.

She was with the Nebraska Army National Guard from 1987 to 2007. She held positions of supply sargeant, human resources, and aviation operations specialist.

Eddy Boller

Boller entered the United States Marine Corps in January 1966. He went to boot camp in San Diego, Calif. and attended Battalion Artillery School.

He was shipped out to Vietnam on August 1996 where he joined the A-1-12 Alpha Battery -1-12 Marines at Hill 65, and moved to the DMZ. He made rank of Private First Class.

He served in Vietnam until September 1967, and was discharged and returned home in January 1968.

Vern Lau

Lau enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on March 6, 1952. Basic training was completed at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. He completed aircraft maintenance school at Chanute Air Force Base, Rantoul, Ill. He received orders for Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan.

He served on Okinawa from September 1952 to June 1954. He arrived at Alexandria Air Base in Louisiana in August 1954. He was relieved from active duty on March 6, 1956. His rank was Airman A/1C, inactive duty for four years, and discharged March 6, 1960.

James R. Anderson

Anderson volunteered for military service in 1960. He joined the U.S. Navy Reserves Dec. 12, 1960, as a construction recruit E1 and retired from Naval Reserve as an equipment operator Chief E7 in September 1989.

He participated in Boot Camp at Great Lakes Training Center. He served two years active cuty in Naval Mobil Construction 9 with overseas deployment at Adak, Alaska in 1962 and Okinawa in 1963.

Anderson returned home in November 1963, and was assigned to RNMCB 25 until 1967. He then transferred to RNMCB 15, until retirement in 1989.

Leon Fiala

Fiala received a draft notice in Brainard in 1957. He went to Fort Chaffee, Ark. for basic training. After that, he went to Fort Knox, Ky. for tank mechanic training.

He was sent to Fort Hood, Texas for the organization of the 15th Calvary Fourth Armored Division assigned to headquarters troop as head tank mechanic. From there, He went overseas to Schwabach, Germany for Russian border patrol, and to Vietnam.

In Germany, Fiala was still head mechanic of the tank division. His rank was Specialist E-5. He was enlisted for six years from 1957-1963.

Boyd Yochum

Yochum enlisted in the Army on Jan. 10, 1967, and was honorably discharged on Jan. 9, 1970. He was sent to Basic Training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and to Advanced Individual Training at Fort Huachucha, Ariz.

He was handpicked for assignment with the Seventh Armored Squadron First Air Cavalry Regiment (Blackhawks). After his deployment to Vietnam, Yochum was assigned to the Department of the Army. He also served in various assignments in the Nebraska National Guard.

Jack Eager

Eager enlisted in the Nebraska Army National Guard on June 6, 1965, in the 134th Infantry Brigade and served at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., Ft. Sheridan, Ill. and Fort Carson, Colo.

Eager’s unit was called up to help maintain order following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

He was honorably discharged on June 5, 1971, after six years of service with the rank of Specialist 5.

Andrew Sorenson

Sorenson was in the Army. He attended boot camp at Fort Benning, Ga. In 2005 he went to Iraq/Afghanistan for Operation Iraqi Freedom. His specialty was infantry. He was discharged in 2012.

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