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Vietnam Veterans Receive Quilts of Valor

by and on September 03, 2017 5:00 AM

CENTRE HALL — Six Centre County Vietnam War veterans recently were presented with quilts of valor by members of Happy Valley Quilts of Valor.

The presentation took place on Aug. 22 on the Southside Stage at the Grange Fair.

Receiving the quilts were:

■ John L. Kubalak, of Centre Hall, an Army combat medic

■ Marilyn K. Kubalak, also of Centre Hall and John L. Kubalak's wife, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps

■ Dennis W. Royer, of Spring Mills, who served in the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division Artillery

■ Vincent J. LaCross, of Bellefonte, a U.S. Navy veteran who earned two Bronze Stars serving in Vietnam and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

■ Robert J. Booz, of Centre Hall, a second lieutenant with the 457th Tactical Aircraft Squadron, who earned a Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous other medals in Vietnam

■ Arthur Dale Watson, of Blanchard, who served for six years in the U.S. Army, including 20 months in Libya and 11 months in Vietnam

Watson’s quilt was made and presented to him by his daughters, Kathy Mulberger, Jackie Raiser and Crystal Kohler, all members of the Happy Valley Quilts of Valor group, and his three granddaughters.

Carolyn Foust, leader of the Happy Valley Quilts of Valor group, was glad to see Vietnam War veterans finally being recognized for their service.

“We know that for many of our veterans from that era, coming home from a tour of duty was less than a pleasant welcoming. You were cursed, spit on and held in contempt,” she said. “We hope that by honoring you with this quilt tonight we are giving you the proper welcome home — the kind you so much deserve.” 

Thunderous applause from the audience followed her statement.

Following the quilt presentations, an advance screening of a “A Time to Heal,” by PBS television station WPSU, was presented. Producer Lindsey Whissel Fenton, who spoke at the screening, traveled across Pennsylvania, talking with men and women about their experiences in this divisive war and their perspectives now, seeking an answer to the question, "Is it finally a time to heal?"

Some veterans and their family members featured in the film were present at the screening, and took the stage, engaging in a dialog with audience members. “A Time to Heal” is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

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