Honoring & Remembering

Mini American flags adorned the crosses of fallen soldiers at Bethel Cemetery for Monday’s Memorial Day service.

By Per Peterson

The local area did its best under unusual circumstances to honor veterans on Memorial Day, and one ceremony paid special tribute to two of them.

At Bethel Cemetery, veterans Chauncey Muedeking and Gary Brinks were given quilts from the Quilts of Valor program. Both men felt extremely honored to have been recognized.

American Legion Auxiliary 7th District Vice-President Susie Learing introduced both men on behalf of the Marshall Quilts of Valor group called “Pieces for Heroes.”

“The mission of the Quilts of Valor program is to cover servicemen and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing,” Learing said. “We put the best possible workmanship and material into every quilt we make, so it will be a lasting award for the person it is meant to comfort.”

Muedeking, introduced as “Garvin’s Bugle Boy,” said he was honored to receive his quilt.

“There are so many more people who have done more than I have,” said Muedeking, who served in the U.S. Army from 1954-1982. “All those people with names on the crosses … as they say, we’re soldiers for life.”

Brinks, too, was honored.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” he said.

Brinks served in the Air Force from 1969-73. He was a munitions specialist crew chief and worked to load bombs onto F-4s in Vietnam. He was moved by a speech given earlier in the day by Lake Sarah Baptist Church Pastor Kory Tedrick, who made reference to how soldiers were treated upon returning home from the war.

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