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Faithful stitching
Two dozen local veterans awarded Quilts of Valor on Veterans Day
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David Kuebli, a Navy veteran, is awarded a Quilt of Valor made by the Faith Stitchers at the United Methodist Church Nov. 11. Kuebli was one of 24 veterans to receive Quilts of Valor made by the Faith Stitchers. - photo by Marissa Weiher

MONROE — When Richard Deprez, Monroe, a Navy veteran, was invited to the United Methodist Church to receive a Quilt of Valor, he was surprised. He wasn’t even sure exactly what a Quilt of Valor was. 

“It was an honor,” Deprez said. “It’s really a nice gesture toward veterans.”

Lynn Zimmerman, who organized the ceremony, has been organizing Quilts of Valor for about five years with the Faith Stitchers. She said the quilts are meant to comfort and heal veterans. Bestowing all veterans who are members of the congregation was a recently planned goal of the group. Deprez was one of 24 veterans awarded a quilt at the United Methodist Church on Veterans Day. 

Next to Deprez, receiving a quilt of her own, was his wife Chandra, an Air Force veteran. She said she also felt honored. 

“I’m humbled,” Chandra said, smiling. “It’s nice to see some females get recognized as well.”

Quilt of Valor recipients

Steve Fisher, 1967-1969

Robert Keith, 1953-1955 Air Force

Donald Brooker, 1953-1957 Navy

Robert Bradley, 1955-1957 Army

Norman Williams, 1955-1957 Army

David Kuebli, 1958-1961 Navy

Ronald Hermanson, 1959-1961 Army

Ronald Johnson, 1959-1961 Army

Fred Kloepping, 1962-1966 Navy

Earnest Gebhardt, 1964-1967 Army

Peter Buholzer, 1964-1970 Army, National Guard

Harvey Klassy, 1965-1967 Army

Pauline Blum has helped make several Quilts of Valor for veterans, but due to an arm injury wasn’t able to do any sewing this time around. However, during the ceremony she had the honor of draping a Quilt of Valor around the shoulders of her son Peter Blum, an Army National Guard veteran. 

“It was wonderful,” Pauline said. “Giving him the quilt was the best part.”

Peter worked as a truck driver and a communications person while serving and expressed his appreciation for his fellow veterans. He sympathized with those who served before him as well as with those currently serving in a changed warzone.

“I was in Desert Storm and we went and just blitzed through the area and got out,” Blum said. “Now in times of terrorism, you have to look over your shoulder all the time. I feel more for them than I do for me.”

Blum said he felt genuinely honored to receive a quilt of valor from his mother. 

“It’s not something you get every day,” Blum said. “It’s really kind of nice.”

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Pauline Blum, a member of the Faith Stitchers, gives a hug to her son Peter Blum, an Army National Guard veteran, after awarding him a Quilt of Valor on Veterans Day. To order a photo from the Times, email - photo by Marissa Weiher
Quilt of Valor recipients

Richard Douglas, 1968-1970 Army

John Daane, 1968-1970 Army

Daryl Fernstaedt, 1971-1974 Army

Daniel Essler, 1973-1976 Navy

Richard Gleason, 1977-1982 Navy

Joseph Parr, 1987-1991 Navy

Peter Blum, 1990-1996 Army, National Guard

Brian Metz, 1990-1997 Navy, National Guard

Mike Malk, 1990-2012 Army

Todd Carter, 1994-2003 National Guard

Chandra Deprez, 1996-2000 Air Force

Richard Deprez, 1996-2002 Navy

Brian Keith said he shed a few tears as he watched his father, Robert Keith, an Air Force veteran, receive his quilt.  The two also got to attend the Badger Honor Flight in September. 

Robert said he thought the ceremony was nice and that he plans to use his quilt at his apartment at Aster Assisted Living in Monroe. 

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Robert Keith, an Air Force veteran, sits with his newly awarded Quilt of Valor as other veterans are awarded quilts of their own. - photo by Marissa Weiher

Zimmerman said she gets a “tingly” feeling when she’s giving the veterans their quilts. She was originally inspired to make the quilts for her brothers Phil and Stanley Welton, twins who served in the Vietnam War.

The Faith Stitchers plan to award about four more quilts in the spring for people who weren’t able to make the ceremony. 

Between last year and this year, Zimmerman said they’ve managed to make quilts for each of the veterans who are a part of the United Methodist Church. 

“I’ve never been in the service,” Zimmerman said. “So this is my way of giving back.”

Behring Senior Center also held an event to honor veterans with Quilts of Valor during a special breakfast program Nov. 7 in Monroe.