Banquet honors veterans


CRESCO - For the 11th year, the Veterans Banquet has honored those who have served our great country with heroism and passion.
At the Oct. 28 event, 24 of those Americans received a Quilt of Valor in appreciation of their service.
After a welcome by VFW Post Commander Rick Slifka, SMSgt Cindy M. Yslas emceed the event. American Legion Chaplain Skip Grinhaug gave the opening and closing prayers.
The colors were presented and retired by members of the American Legion Post 135 Legion Riders. Kelly Bartling sang several songs during the evening’s event.
Mark Grinhaug explained the POW/MIA Missing Man and Honors Ceremony. Those laying hats on the table representing those who are missing or died during their service were Dana Ruggeberg (Marine Corps), Rick Slifka (Air Force), Jeremiah Frommelt (Army), Loel Reinhart (Coast Guard), Chris Chilson (Navy) and Joyce Rogne (civilian and mother of a wounded warrior, Marshall Rogne).
The speaker for the evening, as well as a Quilt of Valor recipient, was Chief Petty Officer Joseph Gosch. As of March 2017, he had given 20 years of service to the U.S. Navy. In 2009, he went from full-time Navyman to a reservist.
Gosch started his speech by telling the audience, “We should be honoring our veterans every day of the year.” He went on to thank mothers and fathers for letting their kids go off to war, husbands and wives who wait behind and children. “We must never forget the Gold Star families” saying they gave the biggest sacrifice in losing a loved one to war.
“Freedom. It’s powerful. It’s a gift. And it is always worth fighting for.”
Gosch related how he appreciates all who thank him for his service, and he tries to reply every time with “It’s been my pleasure to serve you.”
Before the Quilts of Honor were presented, Nate Thorson asked Elias Zweibahmer and Hunter Pelot to come forward. The grizzled World War II veteran, still fitting into his uniform, stood next to the youngest serviceman at the banquet. It showed both sides of the spectrum. One with years of experience and the other a young man just making his way in the world.
Sandy Thorson, local and area chairman for Quilts of Valor explained, “A Quilt of Valor is not a charity quilt. A Quilt of Valor is not a blanket. A Quilt of Valor is an award for service.”
The quilt is made up of three layers. The top of the quilt, with its many colors, shapes and fabrics, represents the communities and many individuals we are. Each stitch in the quilt represents the love, gratitude and sometimes tears of the maker. 
The batting is the center of the quilt, for its warmth. It represents the hope the quilt will bring warmth, comfort, peace and healing to the individuals receiving it.
The backing is the strength. It holds the many pieces of the quilt together.
She continued, “The Quilt of Valor is priceless. It can never be bought, it should never be sold, it is not a birthday gift. It is an award to honor those who have served, and it comes from the heart of the makers and their community.”
Combat wounded Vietnam veteran Robert McClary was then presented his Quilt of Valor.
Other veterans receiving their Quilt of Valor included:
• George Vachta, U.S. Navy, WWII
• Jerry Smith, U.S. Army, Vietnam
• Dale Lickteig, U.S. Navy, Vietnam
• Roger Bronner, U.S. Army, Vietnam
• Robert Flaherty, U.S. Army, Vietnam
• Clem Havlik, U.S. Army, Vietnam
• Luvern Voves, U.S. Army, Vietnam
• Jerome Hayek, U.S. Army, Vietnam
• Mark Zweibohmer, U.S. Army, Global War on Terror
• Brian Zweibohmer, U.S. Army, Global War on Terror
• Heather Zweibohmer, U.S. Army, Global War on Terror
• Jeremiah Frommelt, U.S. Army, Global War on Terror
• Gene Thorne, U.S. Army, Global War on Terror
• Chris Chilson, U.S. Navy, Global War on Terror
• Charles Leff, U.S. Army, Global War on Terror
• Dana Ruggeberg, U.S. Marines, Global War on Terror
• Cindy Yslas, U.S. Air Force, Global War on Terror
• Michael Yslas, U.S. Air Force, Global War on Terror
• Boyd Turnbull, U.S. Navy, Global War on Terror
• Steven Murphy, U.S. Air Force, Global War on Terror
• Joseph Gosch, U.S. Navy, Global War on Terror
• Leonard Pecinovsky, U.S. Army, WWII
• Craig Morrison, U.S. Army, WWII
• Jerry Dvorak, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, was unable to attend and will receive his quilt at another time.
In addition, Bubba Sorensen was recognized for the work he was doing in painting the Freedom Rock.
The evening also included a meal by McAllister’s Catering and some door and raffle prizes.
As was the message of the evening: Freedom is not free. Thank a veteran today.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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