Pecatonica Hometown Heroes (L-R) Kate Alexander, Logan Joiner, Kameron Smith, Alex Staheli, Colin Ramsby and Max Sager pose with the quilts given to them.

This year’s group of Hometown Heroes honored
By Doug Schroder
For the second year now the young men and women of Pecatonica entering the military were honored with a Hometown Heroes parade. On Friday, May 10 the recruits assembled on W. Third Street, near Main, where they boarded pickup trucks, to be escorted by the police and firemen in a parade that went south down Main Street to the high school.
PHS students and former students honored were Kate Alexander, Logan Joiner, Kameron Smith, Alex Staheli, Colin Ramsby, Justin Garrison, Max Sager and Alexandria Burton. Garrison and Burton could not attend as they had left for duty on May 7 and April 24 respectively.
Last year each individual entering the military got a parade. Logistics and timing made that rather difficult to continue, as organizer Piper Turner found. To make things easier it was decided to consolidate all of the send-offs into one, with plans for the event to be continued each May.
When the parade reached the high school everyone proceeded into the commons area where a brief ceremony was held.
Turner opened the ceremony with an introduction before turning it over to PHS Superintendent Bill Faller.
Faller introduced the recruits and spoke of his time as a Marine and shared some points the recruits will be able to relate to.
After Faller spoke, Turner introduce the Stonewall Stitchers, a group of Pecatonica ladies who have now made, and given away, over 12,000 quilts since DeAnn Anderson and Anita Knolen started the volunteer group in 2004. The stitchers work can be found all over the world, including such places as Afghanistan, Iraq, Mosul, Ukraine, Guatemala, Jamaice, German, England, Japan, Rwanda. In the USA their quilts can be found in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and even Washington, D.C.
Through the years over 60 ladies have volunteered their stitching skills to the cause. Active members of the group include DeAnn Anderson, Vi Johns, Martha Satter, Lola Moist, Barb Klinger, Cheryl Hopton, Sue Thurman, Barb Neuman, Judy Meling, Theresa Nolan, Karen Nolen, Becky Simpson and Pat Kaufman.
Turner read a quote from Stonewall Stitcher founder DeAnn Anderson.
“Our lap robes and cot-size blankets keep not only new recruits warm, but active troop members and many veterans who have kept America free. God bless you all!”
Each of the recruits then came forward and received a quilt of their own.
The ceremony then came to a close, with the recruits posing for a group picture with their quilts afterwards. Refreshments were then offered for all attendees.
Good luck to these young people as they serve our country.
Kate Akexander – National Guard
Logan Joiner – Marines
Kameronn Smith – Marines
Alex Staheli – Army
Colin Ramsby – National Guard
Justin Garrison – Army
Max Sager – Air Force
Alexandria Burton – Air Force

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