Honoring our Veterans
By Liz Black
The Blue Heron Pines Quilters wanted a way to recognize the service and dedication of our veterans and to thank them for their service. Together they have made 2 patriotic quilts, and during the March Homeowner’s Association Meeting they recognized 2 of our BHP veterans and presented them with these quilts to show our appreciation. The recipients were Dick Sommerfelt and Jim Crail.
Dick Sommerfelt enlisted in the US Air Force in 1953 during the Korean Conflict. He retired with 21 years of service with the rank of Major. He graduated from Webb Air Force Base as a jet fighter pilot and also completed maintenance officers’ school in Illinois. His service years were spent in Texas, Alabama, Illinois, England, Panama, Viet Nam and Cape Cod. In addition to being a flight instructor and a test pilot, he flew 401 combat missions while in Vietnam. His last assignment was Deputy Commander at Otis AFB in Cape Cod. During his career he received many commendations including the Silver star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry to name a few. After retirement, he and his wife moved to BHP, first as snowbirds in 2003, and then moved here permanently in 2014. He has been married to his wife, Phyllis for 62 years. They have 2 children, 3 granddaughters, and 4 great-grandchildren. His hobbies include golf (9 hole-in-ones) and fishing. Congratulations, Dick.
Jim Crail served 20 years in the United States Marine Corps from 1954 through 1973 and retired as a Staff Sergeant. During his military career, he served as an infantryman and administrative chief, He also served in Vietnam as a currier making runs only for top secret documents. In addition to his time at Viet Nam he was stationed in San Diego (twice), Camp Pendleton, San Antonio, Quantico, Virginia, Washington, DC, Japan, Okinawa Cuba and Camp Lejuene, North Carolina. His assignments included Boot Camp, Administration, training, recruiting and Commandant’s office. Jim was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK and also lived 30 years in Massachusetts. He will be celebrating 50 years of marriage on April 28 with his wife, Jan. They have 3 sons, 5 grandchildren and 1 step granddaughter. He has been a resident of BHP for 11 years. His hobbies include golf, billiards, bowling, and is an avid TV watcher. Congratulations, Jim!