On Thursday, June 18, 2020, veterans Jim Goodwin, Jerry Steele, Dick Bloom, Dr. D.N. “Cork” Taylor, Dr. Ron Hunter, Fred Feldges, Dale Berndt, and Ron Winchell were presented with Quilts of Valor at the Nebraska State Veterans Cemetery at Alliance. Here are their bios:
James Goodwin enlisted in the US Air Force in 1992, and served as an aircrew member on transport aircraft (C-5 Galaxy), an aircrew instructor for 14 years; Aircrew Evaluator for 3 years. During his service he traveled to every continent in the world. He retired from military in 2006 after over 20 years of service, and is currently the cemetery manager at the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance.
Jerry Steele enlisted in the US Army on a 120 program in 1969, and entered into active military service on November 21, 1969. He served with the 45th Engineers Aviation Detachment in the Republic of South Vietnam, as a crew chief on an observation helicopter during that time that received the rank of E-5 and was the units tech inspector. He received thirteen air medals, two bronze stars, and various other medals, and was discharged on January 28, 1972 at Fort Lewis Washington.
Dick Bloom enlisted in the Nebraska Army National Guard in the early 1960’s. His MOS training was in food service, field kitchen and small and large quantity kitchen. He was a company clerk for the Alliance unit and earned the rank of Spec 4th class and was honorably discharged from service in the fall of 1969.
Dr. D.N. “Cork” Taylor enlisted in the US Marine Corps in the spring of 1968. He had a deferred enlistment and reported to Quantico on October 14, 1968, while there he received his second lieutenant bars. From there he was transferred to Camp Lejeune for a six week course in combat engineering, and then was held over for a second MOS to become a utility officer. He served in Okinawa and Vietnam. During his service he earned the ranking of captain and was honorably discharged on September 10, 1971.
Dr. Ron Hunter enlisted in the reserves in 1966 to allow time to complete his dental degree. After graduation he enlisted in the active military and served in South East Asia, Georgia, Texas, Washington State, New Jersey, Missouri, Panama and Colorado. Col. Ron Hunter retired from active service in the Army in 1992.
Fred Feldges enlisted in the US Navy on October 8, 1963 in Denver. He served in California, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam. He was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary medal. On April 27, 1966 he left active duty pending medical retirement.
Dale Berndt went though ROTC while in college and received his commission as second lieutenant in May of 1969. He spent one year on active duty in the Army at Ft. Sill, OK. The next year he spent in Vietnam as an artillery forward observer directing artillery fire, and was seriously wounded on April 1, 1971. He then spent the next year recovering in the Fitzsimmons Army hospital in Denver and received his captains bars while there and retired from the Army in April of 1972.
Ron Winchell enlisted in the US Army in January of 1962. He served in South America until mid 1963 and then entered Ft. Sill OCS and graduated in 1964. He joined 1st BN 168th FA in 1965 and served in the Battalion until August 1990. He held all battery level officer and staff positions culminating with assignment as Battalion Commander from 1987-1990. He then transferred to the Kansas National Guard with an assignment as Chief of Staff of the 35th Infantry Division. He served in that position until his retirement as a Colonel on February 1, 1998. He served as a member of the Nebraska Veterans State Cemetery at Alliance Foundation from November 2010-March 2018, and presently serves as a member of the Governor of Nebraska’s Veterans Advisory Commission.
A Quilt of Valor is a formal expression of appreciation from a grateful nation. The mission is to honor service members and veterans who have been touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. Quilts have been awarded to members of all five branches of military in all fifty states since 2003.