Sunday, June 16, 2013

Honoring Many of Our Own on Father’s Day

It was fitting that on Mother’s Day in May we honored the women affiliated with our CT Quilters Quilts of Valor Group who chose to serve our Country and today, on Father’s Day, it is also appropriate that we pay tribute to those men in our lives that are special to us.

Our spotlight swings first to our own CT Quilter, Linda F. who has had many family members serving for many years.  We reported on the women in her family in our Mother’s Day post and we continue now with the men in her family who proudly served our Country.  Linda’s husband, Richard is a 21-year retired Navy veteran.  Linda and Richard met when he was on her check ride when she qualified as an aircrewman.  They have been married for 44 years.  And Linda’s daughter, herself a Navy veteran, is married to Charles H., a 20-year Navy veteran.  At the risk of repeating ourselves, what a great family tradition of service!

The next quilter we have our eyes on is Barb, the owner of the Crafty Threads Quilt Shop, where the CT Quilters meet each month.  Barb’s father, Ron, is an Air Force veteran, having served from 1961-1985.  Ron began his service in avionics and was privileged to work on virtually all types of aircraft.  He remembers less than fondly a certain type of aircraft that shall remain nameless because he conked his head repeatedly on that bugger (this writer may be paraphrasing here!).  Also during his career, Ron worked as an Instructor in electronics and was stationed in various locations around the world.  He quite vividly remembers that he did not care for India but has high accolades for the beautiful forests and mountains of northern Thailand.  Ron was also posted to Vietnam and served in-country for 1 year and 287 days.  Ron asserts that most all Vietnam vets can be that precise.  Since Barb has owned the Quilt Shop, Ron is now a proud member of the longarm quilting community and has completed many quilts for our Quilts of Valor group.  We are proud to have this Veteran who quilts for veterans on our CT Quilters team.

Also on our list, is a dual QOV group member, Maria M.  Maria and her husband Michael spend part of their time here in Tampa and part of their time in North Carolina.  Maria has found QOV groups in both places!  Maria’s father was in the Dutch Army and was a radar specialist trained in Oklahoma in the 1950s.  He had fled to Great Britain during WWII where he entered and received his military training.  He worked with the Dutch underground to help fleeing Jews until the end of the War.  He served in the Dutch Army for 25 years.  Maria knows a great love story associated with her father but that’s for another day!

And Maria’s husband, Michael, was in private dental practice in New York when he was drafted to go to Vietnam.  After two tours there, he decided to make the military his career and spent 26 years in the US Army, attaining the rank of Full Colonel.  Michael went through several conflicts and lived many places but his favorites were Germany and Italy.  Maria made this fabulous QOV to honor Michael’s service and the many duty stations where he served and they lived:

Continuing with our long list, we recognize Jadene’s husband who is retired Army, and her nephew Paul.  Paul remains in the Infantry after being severely injured in Afghanistan.  Paul was one of the first recipients of a CT Quilters Quilt of Valor, and we are so proud of his service and how well he is doing.

Kathy T.’s 6-foot tall father served on a submarine in the US Navy during WWII.  He always claimed the racks (beds) were ok if you curled up properly.  He never mentioned how many times he hit his head inside that submarine (but then again, he was a fast learner!).  Before he passed away, her father recounted the story of when the USS Haddo (SS-255)  almost became stuck in Nagasaki Harbor shortly before the bomb was dropped there.  They had entered the harbor on a stealthy recon mission not knowing the imminent plans for that city.  Fortunately, the Japanese had raised the antisubmarine nets to let out one of their own cargo ships just in time and the US sub was able to sneak out behind it.

We are losing those of “The Greatest Generation” in increasing numbers now, so be sure to capture those veteran’s stories while you still can. 
In addition, Kathy has a nephew who is a West Point engineering graduate (Class of 2002).  Patrick was also an Army Ranger when he resigned his commission at the rank of Captain.  At that time, Patrick had elected to continue his education to get his PhD in Physical Therapy and will serve with the rehabilitation of injured active duty personnel and veterans in a VA hospital.  Patrick trains Guide Dog puppies in his “spare” time!
   Our newest members, Irene and Loretta, told us of their family member’s connections to the Armed Forces in this post, and we are proud to once again mention Irene’s grandson, Robert, currently serving in the Army in Afghanistan, and Loretta’s son, Doug, who was injured in Afghanistan and continues to recover.  We wish them both Godspeed.

 Pat N.’s brother was a 25-year veteran of the Air Force before he passed away.  He is interred near Pat's mother (also a veteran) at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.

And finally, Pat has written the following awesome tribute to her father to honor him on this Father’s Day:

My dad Norman Meissner was born in Michigan almost 90 years ago and joined the Army during WWII.  He started the first part of his basic training in St. Petersburg at the Vinoy Park Hotel, which was being used by the Army as a training school.

He was then sent to Scott Field Air Field in Illinois.   He and the other servicemen headed to Illinois by train, due to weather conditions the area was flooded and the train headed to the base at 5miles an hour over the flooded tracks. Scott Field began as a communications training school in 1940 after the opening of the Radio School. My dad was selected for Flying Radio Operator Training.  The primary mission of the Radio School was to train skilled radio operators who would fly in aircraft and operate command and control communications in every Theatre of the War.

After a year of training he was sent to Truax Field in Madison, WI. Where he trained as an Air Traffic Controller. 

Next up was overseas training at Smyrna Air Field, TN the Eastern Flying Training Command.

He was selected to go to India and rode there in propeller planes, which stopped each night, as they weren’t equipped to fly at night.  They stopped in Casablanca, Libya, Egypt and Iran.  He served in Karachi, India before moving on to Jawani to work at an Emergency Air Field there. Then he headed to Agra to work where the Taj Mahal is.  After the war ended he with others were sent to San Francisco and then put on a troop train back to Madison, WI before being discharged.  After his discharge he joined the Naval Reserves until I was born where upon he spent the rest of his working life as an Engineer.  My Dad met my Mother at a USO event and they married after the War.  My Mother was also a Veteran.
We are so proud of our family members that chose to serve and we try to honor their choices with our tangible contributions of quilts of comfort to the Quilts of Valor Foundation.  Many service members who were touched by war in the past still need recognition and many who are serving now continually find themselves in harm’s way so that we may continue to enjoy our freedoms in this great Country.  We are humbled by their sacrifices on our behalf.  May God Bless.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like
 wrapping a present and not giving it.
  ~William Arthur Ward

No comments:

Post a Comment