By Herb Moering
Another 24 armed services Veterans were honored Sunday, March 1 by quilters at Tropic Star RV and MH Resort in Pharr.
The afternoon ceremony began with a flag presentation of the U.S. and service branch flags carried by park Veterans. Emcee Patty Hoerr offered a few comments after the Pledge of Allegiance, noting she had never been in the military, but that wouldn’t stop her from saying “thank you” for the Veterans’ service to the country. She reminded the large audience that those who served in any capacity “went where they were told to go.”
Hoerr said it is good to present quilts to Veterans in their park and this last 24 added up to a total of 132 in the past four years.
Among the Veterans honored was World War II soldier Benjamin (Bob) Corriveu, who at 95 is the oldest park Veteran. He served from 1945 until 1947 at the Panama Canal, and Waco and Camp Walters, Texas. Corrievu who also served in communications and the military police, had top secret clearance and drove officers around Camp Pendleton, California.
As each Veteran’s name was called, he or she stepped forward and two of the committee women would unfold the quilt made for that individual.
The others being honored were Patty Herold, U.S. Army Reserves 1981-2004; Gary Sink, Navy 1962-1966; David Tatum, Air Force 1971-1980 and Army National Guard 1981-82; Marilyn Tatum, Air Force 1974-1978; Marshal Parizo, Marines 1968-1974; Ray Galbreath, Air Force 1966-1970; Marion Palmer, Navy 1965-1970; Fred Kurszewski, Army National Guard 1967-1971; Paul (Duane) George, Army 1967-1970; Jerry Craven, Army 1963-1965; Greg Pooley, Navy 1966-1968; Bob Hoskins, Marines 1973-1976; Manville Ayers, Army 1956-1958; George Dodd, Air Force 1962-1966; Dennis Schmidt, Air Force 1959-1963; Glen Galles, Army 1964-1966; C.E. Morrison, Army 1968-1970; Craig Ericson, Army 1974-1976; David Anderson, Air Force 1957-1961; David Coffey, Army National Guard 1968-1975, and Maggie Jamieson, Navy 1974-1994. James Madill, Navy 1975-1979, was unable to be present.
The quilt ceremony was coordinated by residents Hoerr, Diana South, Betty Menerey, and Harriet Roberts with help from Pam Straka, Mary Harty, and Shirley Atkinson.
The project was introduced by Marty Wolfgang, who is no longer a park resident. She suggested the idea, sharing what the quilts had meant for her husband Denny’s Vietnam War buddies 50th reunion in Signal Mountain, Tennessee several years ago.
The ladies from the Tropic Star sewing room greeted the idea favorably and have been running with it ever since. A group of women meet on Sunday afternoons during the winter season to quilt and sew while others have made them at home over the summer.
Conclusion to the ceremony was the retiring of the colors and branch flags, which was followed by applause for the Tropic Star quilters.