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WWII veterans receive ‘gesture from a grateful nation’
June 15, 2015

By Kristen Miller
Correspondent

DASSEL, MN – Nine members and World War II veterans with the Dassel American Legion were recently presented with handmade quilts in honor of their military service.

The veterans received specially made patriotic quilts from Quilts of Valor, a national volunteer organization dedicated to honoring American’s soldiers, both past and present, with handmade quilts.

The veterans were presented with their quilts during a short presentation May 30 at the Dassel History Center by Quilts of Valor volunteer Lenore Brown of Cokato.

Brown told the veterans “Though we may never know the depth of your sacrifice to protect and defend the United States of America, (the quilt is given) as a gesture from a grateful nation.”

Brown presented each with their own quilt and wrapped it around them while thanking them for their service.

“I’m very surprised,” said Jeanette Tomlinson on receiving her quilt. Tomlinson served as a corporal in the Air Force from 1944-45 and humbly commented, “I did average work.”

“But the rest of us think it’s really special,” Tomlinson’s niece Deanne (Skalberg) Heise told her.

The following veterans also received a Quilts of Valor quilt – Wilton Ahlgren, Army Technician, 1944-45; Ken Bergquist, Army PFD, 1944-45; Kermit Swanson, Air Force Flight Officer, 1940-45; Linton Isaacson, Army Combat Engineer, 1942-46; and Ken Skalberg, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel from 1942 to 1970.

Three other Dassel Legion members and World War II veterans were presented quilts off-site. They were Wayne Paulson, Robert Skalberg, and Gordon Bengston.

About Quilts of Valor
Quilts of Valor began with a mother from Delaware whose son was serving a one-year deployment to Iraq. Her desire was to see that “returning warriors were welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved,” according to the website.

To do so, she would link quilt-toppers with machine quilters on a national scale and these “wartime quilts” would be “a tangible reminder of an American’s appreciation and gratitude.”

Distributed to anyone who has been affected by war, more than 118,000 quilts have been awarded since the program’s inception.

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