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 May 14, 2010

News

Minnesota quilters make stop in Tomah
en route to Fort Knox

Story & Photo By Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services

With a coach bus loaded with 610 homemade quilts, 36 women made a lunch stop May 3 at the Tomah American Legion Hall.

The group departed from their homes in central Minnesota that morning on the way to deliver the quilts to wounded Soldiers at the Fort Knox, Ky., Warrior Transition Unit (WTU).
PHOTO: Quilts of Valor members pose for a group portrait along with members of the Fort McCoy Garrison Command Group. Photo by Tom Michele
Quilts of Valor members pose for a group portrait along with Fort McCoy Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette, Jr.; Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser, both at the right, and several American Legion Riders at the Tomah American Legion Hall.

The group has sent many bundles of quilts to the Knox WTU previously, but this time decided to deliver the quilts in person.

Trip Coordinator Jenny Caughey said “we were invited by a captain at Fort Knox to come. He said he wished we could see the impact our quilts have on the Soldiers and their Families. So, we will.”

“We are trying to show how much their service means to us,” Caughey said. “Their sacrifice is appreciated. They are not forgotten.”

The entourage was headed from Tomah to Rockford, Ill., for an overnight stay, then planned to arrive at Knox in two more days.

Mike Schoeny, Tomah Legion adjutant, said the Minnesota Legion state adjutant contacted his Wisconsin counterpart who, in turn, contacted Schoeny to arrange the pit stop in Tomah.

“I asked our auxiliary unit to do the cooking and Legion Auxiliary President Lori Goldbeck took over from there.”

The group was traveling in a bus displaying a sign, “Quilts of Valor, comforting our wounded Soldiers one quilt at a time.”

Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser and Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette, Jr., extended “thank you” greetings to the group, both explaining how much Soldiers appreciate such gifts.

Nine members of the American Legion Riders motorcycle group attended the lunch, several having escorted the bus from the Wisconsin-Minnesota state line, others who then escorted the bus to the Wisconsin-Illinois state line.

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