As you must know by now, I’m an advocate for Veterans in general and particularly local Veterans.
Just today, Sept 1st, I was fortunate enough to witness another local WWII Veteran receive his Quilt of Valor.
Almost four years ago, I was at Lutheran Social Services visiting a friend, when I happened to meet Alden Smith on my way out. The conversation turned into an Honor Flight recruiting effort on my part when he mentioned his WWII service. There were a lot of hoops to jump through, since he was a resident at LSS, but I knew it could work out for him. He was very excited about it and began to worry that he would never make it until the next flight. I told him that my money was on him, and then came Covid-19 and the shutdown of seemingly everything on earth, including the Honor Flight.
He called often to ask if I had any news about the Honor Flight, and of course, the only news was that there was no news. But finally, in April 2020, Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight announced they were up and flying again. Alden and his daughter, Darana, were on that flight, along with 3 other local Vets. It was wonderful and has left them both with beautiful memories.
I’m sure that Alden had probably never heard of the national organization of Quilts of Valor. But, he was very pleased and humbled to accept his quilt awardfor his dedicated service from Ruth Shatzel, one of the Western New York QOV representatives. https://www.qovf.org
Alden was in the Army Air Corps as a mechanic from 1943 to 1960, and was stationed at 26 different bases. He worked on B-24s, B-29s, and C-47s. You can view an interview he did with Greg Peterson for the Defenders of Freedom series that he continues to work on: accesschautauquacountytv.org/episode/T2uf1–rqig