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Quilts of Valor awarded to four
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Veterans receiving their Quilts of Valor, from left, were Allen Broge, LaVern Isely, Duane Rackow and Ronald Strub.

MONROE — The Behring Senior Center in Monroe recently held a ceremony during their regularly scheduled veterans breakfast May 1 to present four local veterans with their Quilts of Valor. 

The following local veterans were awarded a Quilt of Valor, a tangible gift of love and appreciation from quilters that started in 2003. To date, more than 106,000 patriotic quilts — representing the prayers, healing thoughts and gratefulness of their makers — have been presented to veterans who have fought for the nation in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm/Shield, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and other conflicts around the world. 

More than 80 people were in attendance at the senior center for the presentation. Veterans and their family members are invited to the senior center breakfast the first Wednesday of the month starting at 8 a.m.

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DC 2nd Class Allen Broge greets family after receiving his Quilt of Valor.

VETERAN — DC 2nd Class Allen Broge

Broge joined the United States Navy on Dec. 1, 1952 and served until Dec. 2, 1960 having earned the rank of Damage Control 2nd Class.

Basic training was completed at San Diego Naval base in California. Served four years as active duty and four years as inactive duty in the Korean War. During that time, Broge’s service was at navy bases in Norfolk, Virginia, and Newport, Rhode Island.

One of his experiences included performing emergency repairs on the USS New DD818 destroyer ship which had nearly broken in two during a hurricane rescue mission in the Gulf of Mexico.

After service in the Navy, Broge farmed on the family farm in McConnell, Illinois, worked as a builder in Wyoming and drove truck cross county for Dean Foods, Swift and Solace in Lena, Illinois.

He continued serving his community, active at the Le-Win school where he served on the school board for 6 years. He is married to Phyllis and has three children — two daughters, Lori and Debbie — and a son, Dale. He also has five grandchildren: Vanessa, Michelle, Tara, Kyle and Jacob, and seven great-grandchildren.

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Airman First Class LaVern F. Isely accepts his Quilt of Valor with a hug from Linda Stolts and Sue Levan-Green, the Wisconsin volunteers for the Quilts of Valor Foundation.

Veteran — Airman First Class LaVern F. Isely

Isely joined the United States Air Force in April of 1955 and served until December of 1958. Lackland Air Force Base at San Antonio, Texas, was where he completed his basic training. After basic training, he was assigned to Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, to take radar training. His service dates include the Korean War from July 1957 to July 1958. 

He recalled a very important event that happened to him and two Danville, Illinois, men who were forced to land in a storm at Chanute Air Force Base at Rantoul, Illinois. He was a member of the Ground Controlled Approach Radar Maintenance crew on duty when this happened. The two men were in route from La Crosse when they encountered snow and freezing ice on their plane and had to emergency land.

After his military service, he farmed the family farm, but is now retired.

His community involvement has been writing, “Letters to the Editor” in The Monroe Times. He has also helped crew at the Monroe Balloon Rally for four years. He is a lifetime member of the VFW Post #2312 in Monroe.

He and his wife Linda have a daughter, Laura, who served three years in the United States Army. He is a grandfather to two grandsons, Eric and Phillip. 

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Sergeant Duane Rackow admires the detail on his Quilt of Valor.

VETERAN — Sergeant Duane Rackow

Sergeant Duane Rackow joined the ranks of the United States Marine Corps on May 1955. He served until April 1959. His basic training was completed in San Diego, California. After basic, he was deployed to the Philippines and Japan before returning to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. His duty was as a truck driver in the Motor Transportation Unit.

Post military service, Rackow worked at Dorman Cheese Company for nine years, followed by Kelly Springfield Tire Company for 30 years. He is now retired.

He is a member of St John’s Church in Monroe and also a member of the Monroe Moose Lodge.

His wife, Annete, is deceased. They were married for 48 years. He is the father to four children: Steve, Janeen, Janet and Julie. Eric, Kayla, Kirstyn and Rachel are honored to call him Grandpa. 

Semper Fi Marine! 

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Sergeant Ronald Strub stands next to his Quilt of Valor.

VETERAN — Sergeant Ronald B. Strub

In 1955, Sergeant Ronald B. Strub joined the United States Army and served until 1957. He completed basic training Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His duty was as a supply sergeant, stationed in Fort Sills, Oklahoma. His service dates were during the Korean War, but he was never deployed there. He has said he wished he had stayed in the Army. 

After the service, Strub worked in management at Wayne Feeds at Janesville.

He and his wife, Marlene, have four children: Ronald (BJ), Brenda, Rhonda and Jeremy. He also has three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.