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A Salute to Veterans


November 21, 2019

-East Washingtonian photo by Charlotte Baker

We stand in for our local veterans who served our Country in their action and commitment to preserve America's way of life, in the protection against those who seek to harm and destroy that life and the preservation of our freedom and liberty. From left is Richard Lyden (Captain), Roger Hill, Jim Herres, Wayne Slaybaugh, Rich Slaybaugh Jem Cochran, Jamie Flerching and Kyle Flerchinger. Not pictured is Eric Wommack (presented November 8) and James Harris (presented November 13).

By Charlotte Baker

POMEROY–The annual Veteran's Program recognizing local active and retired military personnel for their service, was held at the High School Gymnasium last Tuesday, November 12.

The program opened with the flag salute and a mini concert of patriotic songs performed by K-2 students. It was followed by the Quilt of Valor ceremony and a slide show of service men and women residing in the Garfield County area.

Superintendent Rachel Gwinn introduced Alice Gwinn as the Master of Ceremony for the Quilts of Valor presentation.

To begin the ceremony, Gwinn shared a most profound piece in dedication to the service men and women of World War II still living, with a quote taken from a book written by one of the last survivors of Pearl Harbor, Seaman First Class Donald Stratton, (Ken Gire) entitled "All the Gallant Men."

"In his book, he tells of a wallet that President Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor, carried with her," said Gwinn. "Inside the wallet was a piece of folded up paper with a poem written on it."

Lest I Continue

My complacent way,

Help me to remember that somewhere,

Somehow out there,

A man died for me today.

As long as there be war,

I must answer,

Am I worth dying for?

"She kept that poem in her wallet for the rest of her life and the poem is displayed near the Arizona Memorial inscribed on a metal plaque there," Gwinn continued.

Students, local community members and visitors watched as eight Quilts of Valor were presented to local service men and women by Quilts of Valor Foundation Kelly McKeehan, Master of Ceremony Alice Gwinn and Cindy Klaveano.

-East Washingtonian photo by Charlotte Baker

Roger Hill–U.S. Air Force 1967–1971– He joined the Air Force in 1967 until 1971 and spent 18 months in Panama. His Quilt of Valor was pieced, quilted and bound by Alice Gwinn.

The story how the Quilts of Valor was formed, Gwinn told how one mother made a quilt to comfort her son who had returned from Iraq. That compassionate gesture honoring her son, spurred the tradition of giving a quilt to each veteran and the rise of the Quilts of Valor Foundation.

Since then, many men and women used their sewing skills to respectfully and with dedication of honoring each veteran for their service with a Quilt of Valor. As of the program date, the foundation has awarded over 234,000 quilts; and still counting.

"Each Quilt of Valor is a single, lifetime award," said Gwinn. "It may be fashioned by only one or two individuals, or through the combined efforts of many men and women of all skill levels. As we sew, we believe love, caring and gratitude flow from our hearts and through our hands into the developing quilt."

The quilts were pieced, quilted, bound and donated by local community members and organizations Alice Gwinn, Cindy Klaveano, Corky Slaybaugh, Deb Waldher, LCQQUOV and Holy Rosary Altar Society.

Welcome Home, Soldier.


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