How appropriate, with Veterans Day this past Saturday, that on November 8, Fairhaven resident Antone P. Lopes was presented a Quilt of Valor by Janet Segur, Veterans Committee Director of the Massachusetts State Grange at an open meeting of Rochester Grange. She was assisted by Allen Manley, another committee member as well as members of the Grange.
For those who have never heard of Quilts of Valor, it is a national foundation begun in 2003 after one woman had a dream. It was of a young soldier suffering and in need of comfort. After her dream, she wondered what she could do and the idea of making a quilt came to mind as a symbol of comfort. Today volunteers, women & men, from across the country work to make each quilt. One person will piece the top by hand and another will do the quilting using the “long arm” method. To date, well over 350,000 quilts have been given to active duty soldiers and veterans. These beautiful quilts are meant as “a thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor in serving our Nation.” Janet has her own group of quilters making quilts for presentations by the State Grange in partnership with the Massachusetts branch of QoV.
Tony had a long career in service to the country he loves beginning with his entrance into the Army in 1966 and his retirement in 2003 as a Master Sergeant. His specific jobs throughout his career were as a Veterinary Specialist and in Civil Affairs. His basic training was at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Tony served 2 years “in country” in Vietnam in the Army Veterinary Corps. Tony left the service in 1970 and became a Police Officer in Fairhaven – now retired. In 1997 he signed up with the 443d Civil Affairs unit out of RI. He was activated with the 414th Civil Affairs out of Utica, New York to help provide security for Iraqi prisoners. He served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the Persian Gulf War, Operation Endeavor in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a Reservist in 1998 he went to Germany. In all, he was stationed to 10 postings, including Italy, Turkey and Albania.
Tony’s record is impressive. Among his many awards, he received the National Defense Service Medal w/Bronze Star, Vietnam Service Medal & Campaign Medal w/60 Devise, Army Service Ribbon, (4) Driver Mechanic Badge w/overseas service ribbon, Bronze Service Medal & 2 Army Commendation Medals w/humanitarian service medal.
The Grange is proud to have been a part of honoring Tony for his service and salute all Veterans who have so proudly served our Country.