WARSAW — A dozen Kosciusko County military veterans were honored with handmade quilts during a Threads of Valor luncheon at the Pete Thorn Center, Warsaw on Thursday, Nov. 7.
The event took place ahead of Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11. With the upcoming holiday in mind, Ken Locke, Administrator of Salvation Army of Warsaw, noted that the time between Halloween and Thanksgiving is a special time of year to honor veterans.
“I always find it interesting that Veterans Day is tucked in between Halloween and Thanksgiving,” said Locke. “When you think about it there are people in this room who have been through a great war that was worse than any movie, doing things we don’t even want to know.”
“We get Veterans Day where we have the opportunity to thank and honor them for their service,” Locke said.
Kosciusko Senior Services Executive Director David Neff noted the humble nature of the veterans as they are reluctant to be recognized as heroes.
“All of these guys say that,” Neff said of their reluctance. “You are heroes.”
The following veterans received quilts from Liberty Sewing Circle:
- Edward Barrus, Leesburg: Barrus was a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army. He served in Tokyo, Japan from 1946-1948 and Korea from 1950-1952.
- Donald Gebert, Pierceton: Gebert was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. He served two years in Japan and Korea from 1950-1952.
- Diane Gustafson, Warsaw: Gustafson was a Private First Class in the US Army. She initially served from 1989-1994 followed by two years reserve in the National Guard.
- John Hoover, Warsaw: Hoover was a Sergeant in the US Army. He served in Germany and Korea from 1950-1954.
- John Jansma, Warsaw: Jansma was a Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force. He served from 1954-1962.
- Andres Martinez, Warsaw: Martinez was a Lance Corporal in the US Marine Corps. He served during Vietnam from 1969-1971. He served an additional 19 years with the Indiana National Guard.
- Rodger E. Middleton, Warsaw: Middleton was a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps. He served during Korea from 1951-1954.
- Frank Pfeiffer, Warsaw: Pfeiffer was a Sergeant in the US Army Airborne Division. He served during Vietnam from 1965-1967.
- Christopher Sparke, Pierceton: Sparke was a Staff Sergeant in the US Army. He served from 1983 to 2005 in Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom. Sparke served additional time in Afghanistan from 2014-2015 and Iraq in 2017. Sparke was not present to receive his quilt. His wife Jacqueline Sparke accepted on his behalf.
- Jacqueline Sparke, Pierceton: Sparke served as an Administration Specialist in the US Army. She served 1982-1992 during Desert Storm.
- Richard White, Warsaw: White was a Sergeant in the US Army. He served 1967-1969 during Vietnam.
- Orville “Bud” Wood, Warsaw: Wood was a Corporal in the US Army, 1946-1947, during World War II and Korea.