Yates receives Quilt of Valor

Tuesday, December 3, 2019
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Quilt of Valor Foundation member Paula Smith awarded the Quilt of Valor she made to Harold Yates at a ceremony held On Nov. 19 at the VFW Post No. 5649 Scholarship Dinner. Harold Yates enlisted in the U. S. Army after attending a year of college in 1966, and he graduated from Basic Combat Training at Ft. Bliss, Texas in March 1967. He then attended Advanced Infantry training at Fort Ord, Calif., graduating as the Company Distinguished Trainee.

He was selected to attend Ordnance OCS at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, and graduated on Sept. 27, 1967 as a mechanical maintenance officer. He then attended Officer Missile School at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, graduating in February of 1968.

His first duty assignment was Company Commander of an enlisted training company of 450 men attending training at The US Army Missile School. Subsequently, he was assigned instructor duties in Missile Components Division of the school.

He was alerted for orders to the Republic of Vietnam in November of 1969, but was advised that he did not have to accept those orders since he had less than nine months left on his obligation. However, he volunteered to go anyway. He reported for duty in South Vietnam on April 15, 1970, and was assigned to 80th General Support Group as a staff officer at China Beach, Da Nang, RVN. He was subsequently reassigned to the 57th Transportation Battalion at Chu Lai Combat Base about 60 miles south of Da Nang. The battalion had a distinct transportation mission (port clearance and line haul, and landing craft support to the 23rd Infantry Division), and a composite service mission (supply, service, maintenance, Petroleum/Oil/Lubricants supply, and Ammo resupply).

About halfway through his tour of duty, he assumed command of a direct support Maintenance Company plus three specialty detachments, consisting of about 260 officers, warrant officers, and enlisted men.

Harold returned to CONUS on May 3, 1971, not much worse for wear. He reported to the Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama as a Contracting Officer buying missile repair parts. He was subsequently assigned to the Hellfire Missile program as a procurement planner. He was released from active duty in September of 1973.

Harold began pursuit of a college degree on his release and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree in 1978.

Harold joined the Army Reserve, primarily to financially support his education efforts. He was initially assigned to an Area Support Group and became an expert in echelons above Corps doctrine. He was later assigned as Battalion S-3 of a quartermaster battalion.

In 1983, he was selected for the Active Guard Reserve program, and reported to the 326th Area Support Group in Kansas City, Kan., as Plans and Operations Officer, training officer, mobilization officer, rear battle officer, etc. He participated in overseas multiple missions, such as Reforger, and wartime planning missions, primarily near Manchester, England. He spent almost seven years in that position before retiring in 1990 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a national organization founded in 2003 by “Blue Star” mom Catherine Roberts of Seaford, DE. With a son, Nat, deployed in Iraq—a “Gunner” sitting atop a Humvee—she felt “ten seconds away from panic” twenty-four hours a day. One night she dreamed of a post-deployment warrior struggling with his war demons at two o’clock in the morning. She saw him sitting on the side of his bed, wrapped in a quilt. The quilt comforted him and fended off the “war demons” that troubled him. From this vision, Quilts of Valor Foundation began. The first QOV was awarded in November 2003 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) to a young soldier from Minnesota who had lost his leg in Iraq. As of November 2019 more than 237,000 Quilts of Valor have been awarded. Christena Windmeyer did the machine quilting on Yates’ quilt.

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