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Veterans honored with Quilts of Valor PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 November 2017 12:59

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By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times



Some local veterans received quilts from the Southwest Kansas Quilts of Valor Foundation Tuesday night, and coordinator Peggy Luck got a little surprise from a major donor to the group.

One of the veterans was Private Jacob B. Cosper of the U.S. Army. Cosper entered the Army in April 2008 in El Paso, Texas, and was released in February 2012 in Silver City, N.M.

He attended basic training and infantry school at Fort Benning, Ga. He served with the 200th Infantry Battalion in Las Cruces, N.M., and later with the 512th Trailer Transfer Point in Silver City.

When asked what he was most proud of regarding his military duty, Cosper said, “Completing my service and being allowed to serve my country” and “Making friends with the people I served with that still last to this day.”

Cpl. John McCord of the U.S. Marine Corps also received his Quilt of Valor Tuesday. He entered the military June 1997 in Willingborn, N.J., and was released June 2001 in Twenty-nine Palms, Calif.

During his service, McCord received the Good Conduct Medal. McCord went to basic training at Paris Island, later attending Marine combat training and motor transportation school before going to Twenty-nine Palms.

In addition to California, McCord likewise served in Okinawa, Japan. When asked what he was most proud of regarding his tour of duty, he said simply being a Marine, “which so few can do.”

“The Marine Corps is the smallest branch of the service,” he said.

McCord’s quilt was made by Luck.

Also getting a quilt Tuesday night was First Class Petty Officer Roger L. McCullough, who entered the U.S. Navy Jan. 5, 1959, in Kansas City, Mo., and was released Jan. 4, 1967, in Great Lakes, Ill.

McCullough’s military honors include the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal from Vietnam and the Good Conduct Medal.

McCullough was trained as an interior communications electrician, service school instructor and to repair the optical lens landing system.

He served about the USS Menhayde, USS Ticonderoga, USS Pomodon, subs used in various parts of the Pacific, and at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, as well as an aircraft carrier ship.

When asked what he was most proud of about his tour of duty, McCullough said qualifying to wear the Dolphins submarine insignia and serving in the U.S. Navy.

“Submarine insignia is considered one of three of the Navy’s major enlisted wartime pins,” he said. “To earn the right to wear Dolphins, perspective submarines complete an extensive qualification process that lasts about one year and covers virtually all of the submarine’s systems.”

McCullough’s quilt was made by Sharon Hobble.

Air Force Airman First Class Jason McIntyre later received his Quilt of Valor at Tuesday’s ceremony at Liberal’s St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

McIntyre served from April 1992 to 1994, serving at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City and training in San Antonio, as well as air base ground defense training at Fort Dix, N.J.

He received the Air Force Accommodation Medal for expert marksman with an M-16, M-9 and M-19-11.

His special memories center around lifelong friendships with others on his base. His proudest accomplishments include serving his country.

“It has given back to me a great life,” he said.

McIntyre’s goal was to become a police officer, a passion since high school. He took early leave from the Air Force when he was offered a job with the Liberal police force. 

He enjoyed that work through Sept. 11, 1995, when he was shot in the back of his head. His injuries caused early leave from police work.

His badge number, 526, is on his quilt to commemorate his love of police work with Liberal. Above the number is the Air Force insignia. McIntyre’s mother, Donna McIntyre, made the quilt.

Another veteran scheduled to get a quilt was Staff Sergeant Jeff Wade of the U.S. Army. Wade made the life-changing choice to defend his country when he enlisted in the Army.

He is proud of being in the Army and serving his country. He used the infantry training he received at Fort Benning when he deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006-2007.

Wade left his home a second time in 2010 during Operation Enduring Freedom when protected the embassy in Djibouti, Africa. While serving his country, he earned the rank of staff sergeant.

Sue Farmer sewed the top of Wade’s Quilt of Valor. 

“She has proudly shown her pride in American military by her support and activities in the Quilt of Valor program,” Luck said. 

Batting for the quilt was donated by members of the Liberal community. Luck joined the layers of the quilt together with machine quilting. Luana Walker has sewn binding on the edge of many of the Quilts of Valor, including Wade’s.

“Thank you for serving in the United States Army,” Luck said in Wade’s bio, as Wade was unable to attend Tuesday’s ceremony. “Your dedication to protecting America and helping to sustain our freedom will be forever appreciated.”

Wade’s quilt will be presented at a later time. 

Specialist Connor Cook was also awarded a Quilt of Valor Tuesday. He is currently serving as a deputy with the Seward County Sheriff’s office.

Cook had previously served an infantry specialist in the U.S. Army from 2009 to 2013. He served in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. His quilt blocks were made by the late Nancy  Tolento, and his quilt was made by Luck.

Also receiving quilts at a later time will be Dallas Ryan and Rob Rogers.

Prior to the presentation of quilts, Luck received some good news from Southern Pioneer Electric, a major donor to the organization.

In June, the company donated $1,000 to Quilts of Valor, money to be used entirely for materials for the quilts. That money came from Southern Pioneer’s H.U.G.S., Helping Us Give to Society, program.

Tuesday, CoBank, Southern Pioneer’s financial service provider, matched those funds with another $1,000.

With that news, Luck said the organization would be well on their way to fulfilling their remaining requests, eliciting a cheer from the gathered group of veterans and their family members who were assembled for the quilt presentation.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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