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Around The Grange
Quilts of Valor presented in Stowe, Vermont

By Paul Hyland, National Grange Communications Fellow

  DECEMBER 7, 2018 --

On Wednesday night, 20 veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, were given a very speical award, a Quilt of Valor. Though these were made just of fabric, they were sewn with love and devotion by Grange members who appreciate the service and sacrifice of those veterans.

This was the second time Grange veterans were recognized in a formal program as part of session with Quilts of Valor, the first happening last year at the 151st Annual Session in Spokane, WA where 10 veterans were honored.

In both years a single female recipient was givena  standing ovation by the pack room of attendees, however Harold Bergeron, a 103-year-old World War II veteran stole the show and received special honors as each other Quilt of Valor recipient shook his hand as they came up to receive their award.

Bergeron, a recipient of the French Legion of Honor Medal, proudly looked on as National Lecturer Chris Hamp told the audience of his heroism.

When a torpedo hit Bergeron’s ship in 1944, the list of men in his platoon and his amazing memory were the only things that led to the recreation of a roaster of those lost in the tragedy in which more than 800 men were lost.

Alma Jean Heidenreich, also known as Heidi, served for three years of active duty, then joined the Reserves, then National guard and served National Guard and served continuously from 1968-92.

When asked why she joined, she joked, "Well when I was in elementary school I always wanted to wear a uniform because wearing the same thing every day was a nice thing.”

The Quilts of Valor honor was something National Grange Lecturer Chris Hamp  thought was an appropriate addition to programming for our Order after seeing the impact the presentation of a quilt had on her father who was honored at his home.

At that time, Hamp began working with the Quilts of Valor Foundation to forge a partnership between the two very patriotic organizations, and that joint effort is called Under our Wings.

The first Quilt of Valor was presented at Walter Reed Hospital in 2003 to a young soldier who had served in Iraq and had lost a leg. To date, the Foundation has presented more than 202,000 quilts, growing from a single dream of a mother and has touched millions since its inception. Today, the Grange is proud to be a partner and honor those in our fraternity for their military service and love of this nation.

After Lynn Carrier, the Vermont State Coordinator for the Quilts of Valor Foundation, was thanked by a Veteran, she said “No, we’re thanking you.”


2018 Quilts of Valor Recipients

Hiram Allen (VT) Army 1956-58

Harold Bergeron (VT) Army 1943-46

Roger Bostwick (KS) Army NG 1979-85

Lincoln Cooper (CT) Coast Guard 1963-67

John Cotrell III (RI) Army 1965-67

Lester Gibbs (VT) Army 1958-81

Douglas Hall (MA) Army 1977-84

Richard Harriman Jr. (ME) Army 1966-69

Thomas Hebelsen (NY) Navy Res., Army NG

1963-76, 1980-2005

Alma “Heidi” Heidenreich (NY) Army 1968-92

Richard Henry (MA) Army NG 1961-67

Darrell Huff (ME) Air Force 1966-69

Peter Ivers (ME) Army 1967-72

Stephen Logan (RI) Coast Guard Res. 1965-68

James Martin Jr. (MA) Army 1954-62

William Overstreet III (TX) Coast Guard 1979-2009

F. Philip Prelli (CT) Army Res. 1970-76

Laurence Thompson (VT) Navy 1966-74, 1975-89

Robert Trombi (NH) Army 1978-99

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