Quilts of Valor Given to Ferndale Vets

Quilts of Valor Given to Ferndale Vets

(Crystal A. Proxmire)

Three Ferndale Veterans were honored on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010 with presentations of handmade quilts by the Quilts of Valor Foundation on behalf of The Ferndale Rotary.  Todd A. Caswell, William “Bill” Hunter, and Harold Barber were honored by the groups for their millitarty service.

Quilts of Valor began in 2003 when a mother in Washington State decided to make a quilt for her son that was leaving for the Middle east.  She began to think of other soldiers, and decided to form a group of volunteers to make quilts for soldiers and vetrans.

The idea grew into a nationwide organization that has presented 33,770 quilts as of Nov. 15, 2010.  More information about Quilts of Valor can be found at http://www.qovf.org/index.html

The Ferndale Rotary, which entertains speakers from various types of charity organizations at their weekly Rotary meetings (Thursdays at 5:30pm at Blumz – 503 E. 9 Mile), decided to donate to Quilts of Valor and to have the three Ferndale Veterans presented with quilts.  William Hunter was unable to attend the presentation and dinner due to illness, but Barber and Caswell enjoyed a fun and memorable evening with friends and family.  Other servicemen past and present were also asked to stand and be recognized.

Learn more about the Ferndale Vets by reading the bios below…

Todd A. Caswell

Petty Officer Todd Caswell was born in Detroit, Michigan and attended Ferndale High School.  After graduation in June 1981, he reported to Orlando, Florida to begin boot camp.

Next, Petty Officer Caswell reported to Operation Specialist “A” School in Dam Neck, Virginia and finished 12 out of 21.  He served six years of sea duty followed by 4 years of shore duty.  After 10 years of active duty, Petty Officer Caswell joined the reserves in his home state of Michigan.

Petty Officer Caswell has served in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; Brunswick, ME; Iraq; U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO); and Kuwait.  In September of 2009, PO Caswell deployed to Iraq for the third time.

During Petty Officer Caswell’s 29 year Naval career he has earned the following awards and recognition:  Meritorious Unit Commendation (2 awards), Battle Efficiency Award, Navy Good Conduct (2 awards), Reserve Good Conduct (5 awards), National Defense (2 awards), Sea Service (4 awards), Armed Forces Service Medal with Hourglass and 2 “M” devices, four (4) Letters of Appreciation, two (2) Flag Letters of Commendation and two (2) Unit Sailor of the Year awards. Navy and Marine Corp Overseas deployment ribbon, Iraq Freedom Metal(3), Expert pistol, Expert Rifle, War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary metals, 2 Navy Achievement Medals, 1 Commendation medal and a Letter of Commendation from Admiral Allen for Desert Storm

In April of 2011, PO Caswell will deploy to Afghanistan with other Detroit sailors out of Selfridge ANGB.

William “Bill” Hunter

Bill Hunter joined the U.S. Army Air Force when he was 25 years old.

During World War II, he was a tail gunner in a B-24 bomber.  He flew and survived 33 missions during WWII.

As a side note, Bill was in good company with the likes of the actor Jimmy Stewart, actor Jack Palance, U.S. Senator George McGovern, actor Don Herbert (AKA Mr. Wizard), actor Tyrone Power, and cartoonist George Oleson (“The Phantom”) who piloted B-24’s during WWII.  Also, pro football player Chuck Bednarik who was a waist gunner and actor Russell Johnson (AKA “The Professor on “Gilligan’s Island”) who was a crew member and actor Walter Matthau who was a radioman/gunner served on B-24’s during WWII.

Harold Barber

Harold Barber retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1971 after 23 years of service.  He was honorably discharged as a Captain.

He has been stationed in Parris Island, SC; Camp Lejeune, NC; Vieques, Puerto Rico; Europe (including Italy, France, Greece); Portsmouth, VA; Camp Pendleton, CA; South & North Korea; Yokosuka, Japan; Palmas, CA; Akron, OH; Lexington, KY; and Vietnam.

He has earned many honors and medals.  These include the Purple Heart, Combat Action, Navy Presidential Unit Citation (4 stars), Marine Corps Good Conduct (4 stars), Navy Occupation Service – Europe & Asia, National Defense (1 Star), Korean Service (4 stars), Vietnam Service (3 stars), Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, United Nations Korea & Vietnam, Navy & Marine Corps Overseas service (2 stars)

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