In the Spotlight: United States Army Corporal - Denny Cernik - Korean War Veteran

Mr. Denny Cernik, shown on the left, was awarded a quilt by Dove of Peace on Thursday, March 13, at the Omaha VFW Post 2503. He served the United States during the Korean War as a Corporal in the Army.



Six weeks after marrying his bride, Mr. Cernik was drafted. Prior to service in Korea, he was stationed at  Fort Carson and Fort Lenard Wood. He arrived in Korea on July 15, 1953. Shortly thereafter, Armistice ended the war on July 27, 1953, with the official signing of the truce.

Thereafter, Mr. Cernik worked in the finance department for four months, in Korea, and the remainder of his two years of service in Japan.

Mr. Cernik was assigned to work in a joint program that combine the resources of the Army with that of the Air Force. In this instance, he was assigned to work with an engineering battalion. He was one of two men responsible for the payroll of 195 records. This included all of the ledgers and logs associated with bookkeeping.

The Good Conduct and Korean War Service Medal are amongst those that Mr. Cernik received.

His fondest memory includes all of the nice people he met while on duty.

A member of a large family, consisting of two brothers and three sisters, he is also the proud father to two daughters and a grandfather to two grandsons.

One of the ways Mr. Cernik gives back to the community is through volunteer work for the Omaha VFW Post 2503. As shown in the photo, Mr. Cernik was surprised with the quilt while he was cooking for their monthly taco night. His life also includes volunteer work at his church.

Vietnam veteran and fellow VFW member, Bob, shares the job of holding up the quilt.

The quilt, while not patriotic in color, certainly captures the spirit of the United States. It consists of blocks used during the rugged years of our growth. The "Log Cabin" blocks, bordering the quilt, represent the heart or heart of the home, while the logs surround it represent all of the attributes of a home.



The stars in the quilts center are called "Portsmouth Star." While they have numerous meanings, the most relevant belongs to the Abolitionists. Quilts were made by women that used them to provide messages to the slaves.

When four log cabin blocks are combined, as they are on the back of the quilt, it represents the community uniting to build a barn, and the blocks are then called "Barn Raisers." This Barn Raiser represents the unity of a community that comes together around the heart and warmth of the hearth.

Arnold G., World War II Army Veteran


Arnold Gerst served the United States during World War II. After helping defeat forces in Japan, he was sent to Europe to continue a combat assignment. Due to his selfless act, our freedom and rights are honored today. Arnold was honored at Omaha's VFW Post 2503 on October 3, 2013. Thank you for serving the United States with such courage, Arnold!

According to VFW Post 2503

Arnold Gerst, a Purple Heart recipient, served with the United States Army in WWII from February 7, 1943 through December 1945.  He served in combat in the Aleution Islands in 1943 and was deployed to Sicily, then Naples, Italy, served in combat in Italy and then flew gliders into southern France. Moved to southern Germany and then Salsburg, Austria when the war ended in Europe.  Arnold has been a member of Post 2503 Honor Guard since 1990 and has served as its Captain.  Arnold is an active member of Post 2503 and has actively served the Post in a wide variety of functions during his long membership in the Post.  Please congratulate Arnold for his service to our country and for his decades of service to his community.


The quilt was made by three young women that are members of Nebraska's 4-H, at the ages of 9, 10, and 11.








Please nominate a veteran!

Nominate a Veteran Today!

As the year winds down, Dove of Peace is hoping to honor at least one more veteran before the end of 2014.

If you know someone that served in any of the United States foreign wars, and continues to represent the United States through actions and/or deeds, please leave a comment on to this post, or email me at:

onedoveofpeace@gmail.com

Please include the name of the veteran, the war they served in, as well as contact information for you or the veteran.

Thanks so much for thinking of others! 

Army Staff Sargent - Sharon Cooper

Retired Staff Sargent Sharon Cooper, a veteran from Omaha, Nebraska, was honored with a quilt on Thursday, December 5, 2013, for her dedication to the United States and a career in the military.  Honored during a meeting at the Omaha Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post 2503, she received a patriotic quilt signed by citizens of Nebraska.

After serving the United States as a member of the Army, from 1972 to 1996, Sharon continued to serve the Omaha community through the VFW and education. Her military service included stints in Germany, Japan, Korea, and Hawaii.


On April 30, 1975, the fall of Saigon ended the Vietnam War and prompted one of two waves of emigration from Vietnam to the United States. Sharon was committed to helping refugees resettle and served as one of one hundred women that helped with immigration and immunization. Operation New Life found her working with the refugees medical records, as well as interpreters, she made certain that the appropriate information was compiled for those choosing to reside in one of three states.

One of Sharon's most memorable experiences includes the responsibility bestowed upon her during this period. As she worked for a Lieutenant Colonel, that was swamped with communication, many of the forms requiring an official signature were assigned to Sharon. While a Staff Sargent at that time, Sharon's signature approved the communications.


As a member of Omaha's VFW Post 2503, she is the Junior Vice Commander. She also serves the Post by leading the Voice of Democracy and Patriots' Pen programs for students in Douglas and Sarpy counties.





The Voice of Democracy gives high school students a chance to share their views via a speech, that could result in a $30,000 national prize. The program is open to students in grades 9-12, who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories. The deadline for submissions for the 2014-2015 program is November 1, 2014. Download the application at the Voice of Democracy website by clicking on the link.

The theme for 2013-2014 was: “Why I'm Optimistic About our Nation’s Future,” while the new theme for 2014-2015 is: "Why Veterans are Important to our Nation's History and Future."




The Patriot's Pen program is open to students in grades 6-8, who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.

The theme for 2013-2014 was: “Why I'm Optimistic About our Nation’s Future,” while the new theme for 2014-2015 is: "Why Veterans are Important to our Nation's History and Future."

The deadline for submissions for the 2014-2015 program is November 1, 2014. Download the application from the Patriot's Pen post by clicking on the link.



Both, the Voice of Democracy and the Patriot's Pen, are proudly sponsored by the national and local VFW Posts.
While she retired from the Army in 1995, Sharon wanted to continue to serve our nation. Therefore, she chose to work as a teacher for students at Bryan High School, in the Omaha Public School District, as an ROTC instructor.

The signature blocks are signed by people during the Lancaster County Fair, in Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as at other sites, including but not limited to, the Nebraska Humane Society, McDonald's, Hancock Fabric, the Quilted Kitty in Lincoln, and SAC Federal Credit Union. Thanks to all of those signing the blocks. What a tribute to our veterans!