• Last modified 328 days ago (June 29, 2023)


Veteran receives 'Quilt of Valor'

Staff writer

He thinks he didn’t deserve it, but Francis Jirak of Tampa recently received a “Quilt of Valor.”

“It was a total surprise,” he said.

The national Quilt of Valor organization makes quilts for veterans to show appreciation for their service. Quilts for veterans in this area are made by members of Golden Plains Quilts of Valor chapter.

Jirak’s family of five children and 25 grandchildren was meeting in Wichita on Father’s Day when the quilt was presented by Amy Mellor, the leader of Golden Plains Quilts of Valor in Great Bend.

“Use it,” she said, “and if it wears out, we will make another one for you.”

Jirak served in the Army Reserve from 1964 to 1970. He attended four-hour training sessions in Herington every Monday night and a two-week summer training camp every year.

“You didn’t miss,” he said.

He left the Reserve as a specialist fourth class.

Jirak suspects that his son, John, a Wichita priest, had something to do with his receipt of the quilt.

“It is beautiful, with an eagle and all in the center,” he said. “It will be nice on the couch during winter time.”

Quilts of Valor are given to service members and living veterans who served in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard. Activated members of National Guard and reservists are included.

Last modified June 29, 2023