Three local veterans receive Quilts of Valor

For Chief Tomahawk

TOMAHAWK – Three veterans from the region recently received Quilts of Valor in recognition of their service to their country.

Corrine and Bill Burcalow presented the quilts to Andrew Lockman, Air Force; Jerry Dvorak, Army; and Bob Setlak, U.S. Marine Corps, at the Wurl-Feind-Ingman VFW Post 2687 90th Anniversary Celebration at Tomahawk Friday, September 9.

Lockman served as an aerospace maintenance technician at Little Rock AFB from 1999 to 2005. He then served as a laboratory technician at Lackland Air Force Base from 2005 to 2009. Lockman also served during Operation Iraqi Freedom from January to May 2008 He was honorably discharged in 2009.

Dvorak began basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in May 1969 before being sent to Massachusetts and Panama to learn Morse code and receive training to become a member of the Army Security Agency. He was then sent to a secret location, where he decoded the conversations over the airwaves and passed the information to supervisors, who used it to disrupt enemy operations in Vietnam and protect American troops. Dvorak was honorably discharged in July 1972.

After basic training at Camp Pendleton, Setlak and his fellow Marines of the First Marine Division, Second Battalion, 5th Marines, Golf Company were sent straight into danger, taking part in the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War in January 1968. They fought the Vietcong in the city of Hue, where casualties were high. Bob received a Purple Heart in January and a second Purple Heart in February. Between January and August, he and his fellow Marines were involved in 13 operations in nine months. In August, his platoon was called to the front, knowing that three platoons had preceded them and suffered heavy losses.

On August 18, Setlak was wounded and evacuated to Okinawa. He received his third Purple Heart, plus a Bronze Star with Combat V. V stands for Valor and is given to those who have gone beyond. After about a week in hospital in Okinawa, he was airlifted to Camp Pendleton. Setlak was honorably discharged in April 1970.

Corrine said the Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003 to send a message to veterans that “they are honored to have left all that was dear to them to serve, whether in times of crisis or in times of peace ; they are thanked for their service and their bravery; and they are forever in our thoughts and hearts.

“The layers of the quilt have symbolism,” she explained. “The quilt top, with its many colors and shapes, represents the communities and the many individuals that we are. The fleece in the center of the quilt lends warmth, representing the hope that this quilt will bring comfort, peace, and healing to the recipient. Support is the strength that sustains the other layers, representing the strength of the veteran and the support of the recipient’s family, community, and our nation.

Pictured, left to right: Quilts of Valor recipients Andrew Lockman, Jerry Dvorak and Bob Setlak.
Photos courtesy of Corrine Burcalow.

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