Local WWII Veteran Among Those Honored With Quilts of Valor


The Veterans Memorial Museum Quilts of Valor chapter honored eight veterans with handmade quilts at the museum on Thursday afternoon in a ceremony on the second floor, including a centenarian who is a World War II veteran.

The veterans honored included: 

• James F. Van Ackeren, a World War II Army staff sergeant who served in the European theater during the war, who is also a centenarian.  

• George Whitlock, a Korean War and Vietnam War Navy chief petty officer who served on three different aircraft carriers among many other ships during his 21 years of service. 

• Gary Langford, a Vietnam War Army corporal who served as infantry and earned the combat infantry badge, an air medal and a Purple Heart medal. 

• Edmund Armit, a Vietnam War Navy seaman who served as a deck supervisor on the U.S.S. Castor and earned the National Defense Medal. 

• D’Orr Krambule, a Vietnam War Marine Corps corporal and “Hollywood Marine” who served on the U.S.S. Haverfield, which operated as a radar ship during the war. 

• Ron Jennings, a Vietnam War Navy petty officer third class who served as a radar operator during the war. 

• Mel Kortlever, a Vietnam War Army private first class who served as infantry and started off as a reservist in the Washington Army National Guard. 

• Dave Schmidt, a Vietnam War Navy petty officer second class who served as a engine room machinist onboard the USS Ranger. 

Quilts of Valor is a nationwide foundation that began in 2003 and focuses helping veterans find comfort and healing in part by gifting them handmade quilts. 

“As of today, 338,143 quilts have been awarded since 2003 in the United States,” said Shirley Taylor, a member of the Quilts of Valor Veterans Memorial Museum chapter. 

She added that in the five years the chapter has existed they have made 248 quilts, including the ones handed out on Thursday. 

To nominate a local veteran or someone still serving on active duty, visit the Veterans Memorial Museum at 100 SW Veterans Way in Chehalis or the museum’s booth at the annual Southwest Washington Fair, which is scheduled to start Aug. 15. 

Nomination forms will be available and can be submitted at the museum or the fair booth. Additionally, nominations can also be made online at https://www.qovf.org/nominate_qov_tbw_certify/.