These are the stories of the great men and women who have served our country, and are current or past Quilt of Valor nominees.
Ralph Kalkbrenner was a member of the U.S. army, serving in 1953-1954 in Korea in the field of Motor Pool Parts Procurement. He was drafted in Pittsburg, PA in 1953., and trained in Fort Knox, Kentucky for both wheeled and tracked vehicle maintenance. Ralph traveled by rail and a refurbished WWII troop ship to his duty station in Korea. He was assigned as Parts Procurement Person in the motor pool headquarters company of the 314th Ordnance Group in Seoul. Ralph remembers the difficulty of obtaining certain vehicle parts and having to barter away his combat boots and outfits with other country’s motor pools for certain vehicle parts. Although his endeavours were challenging, Ralph said they were rewarding and appreciated.
Norman Krumrey served two years of active duty in the US Marine Corp from 1952 to 1954 during the Korean War. He attained the rank of Sergeant and left with Honorable Discharge. Sgt. Krumrey attributes his time spent in the Marine Corp to changing the direction of his life and helping him make better choices. He remembers Marine Corp training being tough, lonely, and extremely difficult, although it taught him endurance, perseverance, and gave him the confidence to do new things he would have never considered before. Without this self confidence Sgt. Krumrey doesn’t believe he would have enrolled at the University Level and earn a Bachelors and Masters Degree. He believes being drafted into the Marine Corps was the price he paid for living in the greatest country in the world, and it made grow as a person as a result.
Ronald knew he wanted to be in the Navy at a young age, following in the footsteps of his father and two older brothers. In 1972 he was stationed aboard the USS Camden AOE-2 as a E-2 Seaman Apprentice for three years until he was honorably discharged and reenlisted again a few years later. Ronald also spent time in Pearl Harbor doing a variety of jobs including Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity. Finally, Ron was transferred back to sea duty aboard the USS Flint AE-32 for two years as a Petty Officer 1st Class until he retired in 1995. Ron ended serving in the US Navy for a total of 9 deployments aboard various ships stationed in the West Pacific during his 15 year active service.