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Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 1:29 PM

Veterans Receive National Recognition with Quilts of Valor

Veterans Receive National Recognition with Quilts of Valor
National Grange 2022 Convention Recipients of Quilts of Valor.

Author: Photo courtesy of Suzann Gilliland Peterson.

High Desert Grange had the distinct privilege of awarding three Quilts of Valor this year to local Army and Navy veterans at the Elks Lodge’s annual Veterans Day luncheon on November 11. Each quilt featured a unique design and was constructed by High Desert Grange member Kathleen Rodegeb. Recipients this year, as in every year, are not required to be grange members. Among the three veterans honored with a quilt were Lt. Timothy Bates, Ret., US Navy, 1974 to 1998, and Davey Munoz, US Army, 1967 to 1971.

On November 16 at the 156th Annual National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry Convention in Sparks, High Desert Grange nominated six High Desert Grange members and three non-High Desert Grange members along with veterans nominated by other Grange chapters were named as Quilts of Valor recipients. 

Nominated High Desert Grange members were: Vance “Papa Smurf” Bonds, Air Force, whose tours included post-Vietnam, Gulf War, Global War on Terrorism, and Afghanistan; George R. “Bud” Boyd, Army, serving three tours in Vietnam in Communications; Tianna Gomez, Navy 1994-2015, Ships Handler and part of one of the first female companies on the USS Tarawa; Greg Gomez, Navy 1994-2015, an aircraft mechanic who served with his wife Tianna Gomez; Michael Gardner, Navy 2000-2008, whose tours included Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraq and the War on Terrorism; and, Paul Schlehr, Navy 1958-1978, Electronic Specialist, Chief Warrant Officer 3.

Nominated Non-High Desert Grange recipients were: Eric L. Blondheim, Marines 1989 to 1998, Scout Master serving in the Persian Gulf and Somalia, Army 2006 to 2019, Infantry serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; Christopher D. Hansberry, Marine 1988 to 2011; and Staff Sergeant Stephen Foster, Marine 1982 to 1988, Helicopter Pilot.

Those awardees unable to attend the National Grange presentation will receive their quilts at a special presentation in Fallon to be scheduled soon.

The National Grange of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry and the High Desert Grange, in particular, thank the veterans recognized this year by the Grange and veterans and their families everywhere for your courage and selflessness in the service of our country.