Patchwork for Patriots

Veterans Curt Reinart and Otto Nyquist visit after being honored at the Quilts of Valor ceremony in Tracy on Saturday. Photo / Erin Ballard

Four veterans honored in Tracy on Saturday for service to their country

By Erin Ballard

When Roland Heacock enlisted in the military in 1950, he was following a family tradition that dates back to the Civil War.

Seventy years later, the U.S. Navy veteran has received a special token of thanks from the community for his sacrifices.

Heacock was one of four veterans honored at Saturday’s Quilts of Valor ceremony at the American Legion Post No. 173 building in Tracy. He was joined by Dave Ziemke Sr. (Vietnam War), Curt Reinart (Korean era) and Otto Nyquist (Korean era). In front of about 25 people, including family members, the four veterans took turns at center stage as Legion Post Commander Harley Wahl presented each with a unique, handmade quilt — a symbol of recognition and appreciation for their military service.

“It’s an honor. It’s very emotional,” Heacock said. “I’m proud because my grandfather was in the service, too. He shook hands with Abraham Lincoln.”

His was the first quilt presented — a red, white and blue patchwork depicting a soaring eagle and powerful patriotic slogans. Besides about 50 hours and a multitude of volunteer hands, a whole lot more than needle and thread goes into each creation.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.