Veterans valiant service rewarded with ‘quilts of valor’
GLEN MAWR The 107th gathering of the SwisherSwank family on August 20, 2017 was held at Holliday Park in Glen Mawr.
The attendance of 61 was an increase over other years, due perhaps to the awarding of quilts to eight veterans among their number. The three seamstresses who worked tirelessly to create the ‘quilts of valor’ were Lillian ‘Pidge’ Foust, Margie Swisher and Tina Fuoss.
The eldest veteran, 95-year-old Calvin M. Swisher, Sr. will have bragging rights when he returns to show off his spoils to fellow vets at the VA center in Bath, NY. During his four years with the Army in WWII, Calvin was wounded in France. After the war, he wed Mary ‘June’ Hampton of Williamsport, moved to New York and held a position with Ingersoll Rand as a pattern maker.
The quilt for Calvin M. Swisher, Jr. was accepted by son Tim Swisher. The father spent four years in the Philippines and Japan as a mechanic with the Air Force. Calvin Jr. who served from 1972-1976, resides in Byhalia, Mississippi.
Steven Swisher of Hughesville served four years in the Navy assigned to bases at Great Lakes, Norfolk, and abroad in Italy. Steve was an E4 electrician.
From 1983-1986, Nevin Arthur of Hughesville was at Fort Hood, Texas. The Army veteran held the rank of Sargent with the Combat Engineers.
Clinton Farrar of Muncy was deployed twice to Iraq. The eight-year Army veteran was in electronics when stationed out of Fort Benning, Fort Drum and Fort Gordon.
The Korean War had begun when Melvin Swisher of Unityville was drafted. He was stationed in Europe with the Army artillery in service from Feb 1952-1954.
Robert “Max” Swisher spent two years in the Army and was released after as he put it, “I got shot all to hell.” The Unityville resident earned the Purple Heard after serving from 1966-1968 as a Sargent E-5. Walmart at Montoursville is displaying photos of local veterans, where Max can be viewed in his Army uniform.
Lonny Peterman of Hughesville is a 21-year Marine veteran, retiring with the rank of Master Sargent. He reported he enjoyed being in the military which is why he remained from 1954-1975, a period which included the Vietnam era.
Pidge Foust read excerpts sharing the meaning of ‘Quilts of Valor,’ and thanked the veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Winners in the traditional awards categories were as follows: Eldest man was Calvin Swisher, Sr. 95, of Bath, NY. Eldest woman was Marian Arthur Hutchinson, 84 of Williamsport and also winner of a quilt by the late Martha Swisher Karschner. Youngest child was five-month-old Isabella Temple of Unityville; and traveling the greatest distance was Jane Kschinka of Pinehurst, NC. The longest married went to Jennie and Wayne Arthur of Hughesville who will celebrate 54 years on August 25. The largest family represented was from the Melvin Swisher and late Grace Holmes Swisher family who had 17 members present.