For the Tomahawk Leader
TOMAHAWK – Three area veterans 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, during Wurl-Feind-Ingman VFW Post 2687’s 90th anniversary celebration in Tomahawk on Friday, Sept. 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 through 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 chatter on the airwaves and forwarded the information to supervisors, who used it to interrupt enemy operations in Vietnam and safeguard American troops. Dvorak was honorably discharged in July 1972.
Following basic training at Camp Pendleton, Setlak and his fellow Marines in the First Marine Division, Second Battalion, 5th Marines, Golf Company were sent directly into harm’s way, taking part in the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War in Jan. 1968. They fought the Vietcong in Hue City, 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 gone before them and sustained heavy casualties.
On Aug. 18, Setlak was wounded and medevaced 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 went above and beyond. After about a week in the hospital in Okinawa, he was flown to Camp Pendleton. Setlak was honorably discharged in April 1970.
Corrine said the Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003 as a means of conveying to veterans that “they are honored for leaving all they hold dear to serve, whether in time of crisis or in time of peace; they are thanked for their service and valor; and they are forever in our thoughts and our hearts.”
“The layers of the quilt have symbolism,” she explained. “The top of the quilt, with its many colors and shapes, represents the communities and the many individuals that we are. The batting in the center of the quilt gives warmth, representing hope that this quilt will bring comfort, peace and healing to the recipient. The backing is the strength that supports the other layers, representing the veteran’s strength, and the support of the recipient’s family, community, and our nation.”