The Heartland Nebraska Quilts of Valor group awarded a quilt Friday to 98-year-old BJ (Bernard) Reiselman, a World War II veteran.

BJ was an aviation radioman in the U.S. Navy from 1943-46.

The quilt was presented at the 20th Century Veterans Memorial in North Platte.

At age 18, B.J. joined the Navy and went to boot camp in San Diego. His next stop was Millington, Tenn. where he graduated from aviation radioman and gunnery schools. Flight training was next at Opaloka, Fla.

His first duty assignment was on a new aircraft carrier, the USS Shangri la, as an aviation radioman on a torpedo bomber. BJ flew more than 30 combat missions, earning three Air Medals.

He will celebrate his 99th birthday on July 4.

BJ’s Quilt of Valor was made by his niece, Chris Reinert, of North Platte. The six star blocks in the quilt were made by BJ’s sister, the late Nadine (Reiselman) Vance, Reinert’s mother and were found after Nadine passed away.

Many Reiselman relatives from across Nebraska and other states were in attendance at the QOV presentation to celebrate and thank BJ for his service.

The Heartland Quilts of Valor group has awarded 132 Quilts of Valor in the North Platte area since their first presentation in 2019.

Information about Quilts of Valor is available at https://qovf.org

The USS Shangri La aircraft carrier, 1945. Wikipedia image

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