Anthony D. Howe Sr. receives Quilt of Valor

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Quilt of Valor recipient SSG Anthony D. Howe Sr., (Ret), stands near the quilt he received at the March dinner of VFW Post No. 5649. Howe retired from the military in 1989 after 20 years of combined service. The quilt was made by Paula Smith and machine-quilted by Christena Windmeyer.
Contributed image

On Tuesday, March 19, SSG Anthony D. Howe Sr. (Ret) was presented a Quilt of Valor at the March meeting of VFW Post No. 5649.

Howe served during a very difficult time in our nation’s history — the Vietnam War — a time when many Americans who were against the war blamed returning warriors and treated them harshly.

Tony’s biography reads:

“I was born in Winona, Minn., and raised in Sheboygan, Wis. In February of 1965, I was called to go to Milwaukee for a Draft Classification Physical. As a dumb kid, I thought I was being drafted. Since I had no desire to be an infantryman, I went to the Air Force recruiter and signed up.

I did basic training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas, and went to Tech School at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Miss. I spent a year there learning Basic Electronics and Ground Radio Repair.

After graduating, I was transferred to a Radar Station in Baudette, Minn., where I stayed for 18 months. Upon graduation I was assigned to a Radar Station at San Jose, Calif. At these two stations I maintained radios at GATR Sites (Ground to Air Transmit and Receive) in support or NORAD (North America Air Defense).

Ten months later, during the TET Offensive of 1968, I was sent to Vietnam to a Tactical Air Support Squadron, where I worked with Forward Air Controllers (FAC). If anyone has seen the movie ‘BAT 21’ staring Gene Hackman and Danny Glover, Glover was the FAC pilot who aided in Hackman’s rescue. We operated MRC 107 Radio Jeeps that provided relay stations for FAC pilots, primarily, but worked with all combat aircraft, if necessary. I spent 18 months in that lovely country.

From Vietnam I went to Illinois, Washington state, Germany, and ended up in Florida.

I quit active duty there and after a three-year break in service, I went back to the military. Due to conflicting regulations, I was unable to return to the Air Force, so I joined the Army. I spent a year at Ft. Gordon, Ga., training in Microwave Radio Repair. From there to Korea, Ft. Detrick in Frederick, Md., and finally Nuremburg, Germany, where I was a Site Chief of a radio site maintaining 24-hour support of Nuclear Missile Sites. I decided to retire in February of 1989 with over 20 years active duty.”

Quilts of Valor foundation member Paula Smith, in presenting the quilt to Howe, offered the group’s appreciation for his service.

“Tony, we know it is long overdue, but we hope this quilt will give you some measure of comfort,” Smith said. “We also hope it will serve as a tangible reminder that, after all these years, Americans are finally recognizing the sacrifices you made not only while in the military, but here at home. At long last, you can be assured that your service was not in vain. On behalf of the Quilts of Valor volunteers across America, thank you for your honorable service to our country and, welcome home!”

Smith made the quilt Howe received, and Christena Windmeyer did the machine-quilting.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a non-profit organization made up of thousands of volunteer quilters from across the country. Our mission is to provide service members and veterans who have been touched by war with comforting and healing quilts known as Quilts of Valor. The purpose of these quilts is to honor those who have served, like you, and to let you know that the American people respect, appreciate, and value your service and sacrifice. Since its founding in 2003, the Quilts of Valor Foundation has awarded more than 213,565 Quilts of Valor.

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