Draped in valor and honored

Two Lennox veterans recognized with quilts from Central Iowa Quilt Sew-ciety

Dozens of Lennox Industries veterans enjoyed a luncheon Friday afternoon in honor of their service. U.S. Navy veteran Dave Huff and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Todd Frye were bequeathed with Quilts of Honor from the Central Iowa Quilt Sew-ciety. From left: Huff, Frye, Rosanne Anderson, Leslie Renaud and Marvis Drew

Dozens of Lennox Industries veterans enjoyed a luncheon Friday afternoon in honor of their service. U.S. Navy veteran Dave Huff and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Todd Frye were bequeathed with Quilts of Honor from the Central Iowa Quilt Sew-ciety. From left: Huff, Frye, Rosanne Anderson, Leslie Renaud and Marvis Drew

“We know freedom is not free, and for defending our freedom you all deserve much respect.”

Lennox Industries General Plant Manager Miguel Gutierrez spoke to dozens of military veteran employees during a luncheon to honor their service Friday before two men received special gifts.

“All of you have a great deal of experience in bravery, hard work and dedication to our country in the name of freedom; for that, you are all heroes,” Gutierrez said. “I am not a veteran, but I am trying to understand the meaning; I know many of you, I see you, I talk to you about it.”

The Lennox Veteran’s Day event is usually held outdoors by the flag pole outside the building. However, frigid temperatures meant this year’s ceremony was moved into the building’s auditorium; guests enjoyed sandwiches, chips and pop as they watched the proceedings.

Central Iowa Quilt Sew-ciety members Marvis Drew, Rosanne Anderson and Leslie Renaud brought some color to the ceremony with patriotic, hand-made quilts.

“I want to thank you for inviting us to come again this year to present two quilts of valor to two of your veterans today,” Drew said. “So, at this time — this has been a secret — we’d like to have Todd Frye and Dave Huff come forward.”

The two former service members and current Lennox employees were applauded as they moved to the front of the auditorium to receive their gifts. Each described their time in the service.

“In 1980, I joined the Marines after high school; I wanted to do the toughest [job], so I joined the infantry,” Frye said.

After going to boot camp in San Diego, he did a tour of duty in Okinawa, Japan for six months and had additional training in the mountains of South Korea. He decided to return to civilian life in 1983, and said his military experience was “fun,” but also tough.

Huff, a U.S. Navy veteran, was in the service while the Vietnam War raged in Southeast Asia.

“I was an engine man, so I worked on small engines that needed repair,” he said, adding he also went to San Diego for boot camp before heading to Vietnamese waters. “We went through some of the war zone; I saw lots of things that were kind of tough.”

Like Frye, Huff said after a few years in the military, he was ready to go back home and resume his life as a civilian.

Along with the presentation of the quilts, the mTunes quartet from the Marshalltown Men’s Chorus gave a melodic renditions of the national anthem and “America the Beautiful.”

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com