By Marianne Mueller

David Fane, Robert Lewis, Garrett Nesheim, Nicholas Suchoski, and Jeff Weaver were presented with Quilts of Valor during a special presentation on April 5 at the Roscoe VFW, Post 2955.

Family was at the heart of a very special Quilts of Valor presentation at the Roscoe VFW, Post 2955. on Tuesday evening, April 5. VFW Auxiliary “Buddy Poppy” Chair and past President, Cathy Suchoski opened by saying, “Thank you Veterans, and your family members, the Auxiliary and Post for being here this evening. I am here representing Quilts of Valor.”

Suchoski shared the history of the program.”

In 2003 a quilter named Catherine Roberts started the movement that became “Quilts of Valor” when her son was deployed to Iraq. Since 2004 over 299,946 quilts have been awarded as of March 27, 2022.

The mission is to honor service members and veterans who have been touched by war with comforting and healing “Quilts of Valor.”

Auxiliary President, Ann Stenberg addressed those receiving these gifts.

“These quilts are an expression of gratitude meant to thank and to comfort you. We honor you for leaving all that you hold dear to serve; whether in time of crisis or in time of peace. These Quilts of Valor unmistakably say thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor in serving our nation.”

“Four of these young men grew up together playing Army in my backyard, went to war and came back veterans that became their family,” Suchoski said.

Before the official presentation Stenberg added, “On behalf of the Quilts of Valor Foundation we welcome all of you home, and thank you for allowing us to recognize you.”

Wives or family members proudly presented the quilts as each name was spoken, along with details of service.

David Fane enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2005. His basic training was in the Great Lakes, Chicago, Illinois.  Fane’s first deployment was to the Persian Gulf, OIF. A second deployment was to the Gulf of Oman. He was honorably discharged as an Aviation Ordnanceman, Second Class in 2012.

Fane is a Roscoe resident. Faye Weldon draped his quilt around his shoulders.

Robert Lewis enlisted in the National Guard, U.S. Army in 2003. His basic training was in Fort Benning, Georgia and he was deployed to Iraq from 2005- 2006. He was honorably discharged as Sergeant E-5 in 2009.

Lewis lives in South Beloit. Heather Lewis presented his quilt.

Garrett Nesheim enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2005. He had basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.  He was deployed to Afghanistan from 2009- 2010. Neshiem was honorably discharged as a Specialist E-4 in 2012. Neshiem is a Roscoe resident. Carli Jack presented him with his quilt.

Nicholas Suchoski enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2004. His basic training was at Fort  Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was deployed to Germany in 2005 and had two deployments to Iraq in 2005-2006 and another from 2007-2008. Suchoski was honorably discharged as a Sergeant E-5 in 2009. Suchoski’s Mother Cathy presented his quilt to him. He is a Rockton resident.

The final veteran to be honored was Jeff Weaver. Weaver enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 2004. He had basic training at MCRD in San Diego, California. Weaver was deployed on two tours in Iraq- the first from 2005-2006 and the next in 2007-2008. Weaver was honorably discharged as Sergeant E-5 in 2010. Weaver is a Rockton resident. Erin Weaver presented Jeff with his quilt.

Stenberg concluded by saying, “On behalf of the Quilts of Valor Foundation we welcome all of you home, and thank you for allowing us to recognize you.

She expressed gratitude for everyone who shared in honoring five local veterans. Stenberg extended an invitation to everyone to stay for pizza and beverages.

“We have a great Auxiliary, we work very closely together,” VFW Post Commander Ruben Hernandez said. “I would like to congratulate these young men for what they have done.

“Today we honor five of our own heroes. As veterans you have done the tour of duty and have honorably served your country; for your service in war and peace we thank you and we salute you.”

Hernandez added, “I would like to thank their parents for having the great sons that you do.”

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