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Highland veteran who helped clear bombs in Afghanistan awarded Quilt of Valor, honored by city

Highland veteran honored with Quilt of Valor

A Southern Illinois veteran was honored with a Quilt of Valor last week for his service in Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan.
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A Southern Illinois veteran was honored with a Quilt of Valor last week for his service in Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan.

Highland veteran Logan Wolf, 26, draped in a patriotic quilt, received a standing ovation inside Highland’s City Council chambers.

He was being honored at the council’s last meeting by the Quilt of Valor Foundation, an organization that awards veterans of America’s wars with quilts aimed to help them heal after their experiences in war.

Wolf, who was born and raised in Highland, is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan, where he served as a combat engineer. At 18, he enlisted after he graduated from high school.

He said he was looking for the next step in his life after graduating. Not long after that, he began basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

After basic training and further training in Alaska, Wolf shipped out to Afghanistan where his work on a “sapper” team would begin. He and his team were tasked with going to forward operating bases, where they would work with the British and other allies, detecting and clearing bombs from the many roads units would use.

“From that point, we were doing route clearance missions pretty much daily. Four days on, two days off,” Wolf said. “There was a lot going on.”

Quilt of Valor Logan Wolf
Highland veteran Logan Wolf, left, and his mother Angela Kim hold the Quilt of Valor he was honored with for his service in Afghanistan. Kavahn Mansouri kmansouri@bnd.com

His unit spent the next five months working clearing missions. Some of which were documented by a Discovery Channel team and later made into the three-episode documentary “Heroes of Hell’s Highway.”

The work could be stressful, Wolf said, but it was work that needed to be done.

“There were a couple occasions where we had trucks get blown up,” Wolf said. “But fortunately none of our guys got hurt.”

In total, Wolf spent nine months in Afghanistan. After his deployment, he did some administrative work in the military before enlisting in the Army Reserve. He currently serves as a military police officer in St. Louis.

Wolf’s mother, Angela Kim, submitted his name for a Quilt of Valor after discovering the organization’s work. She said it was heartwarming to see a group reaching out to veterans through quilts.

Kim, who makes quilts herself, said it was an honor she hoped her son would be able to have as well.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003 by Catherine Roberts, whose son at the time was deployed in Iraq. Roberts wanted to provide her son with something she felt would help him recover from the harsh realities of war.

The mantra of the foundation became “to cover all those service members and veterans wounded physically and psychologically with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”

Since then, the foundation has awarded 200,000 quilts to veterans in all 50 states. For Wolf, the quilt wasn’t just an honor from the foundation, but also from Highland.

Growing up, Wolf said he remembers all the things Highland did for veterans. He said being part of those traditions and being honored by the city was an emotional moment.

“It’s really great that Highland is so supportive of its veterans,” Wolf said. “Growing up here, I’ve seen what they do for their veterans and even the ones who have passed away. They’ve done a lot for everybody.”

Logan Wolf 3
Highland veteran Logan Wolf shakes Mayor Joe Michaelis’ hand after being honored with a Quilt of Valor. Kavhan Mansouri kmansouri@bnd.com

Wolf recently graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., where he studied mass communications. He said he’s currently doing freelance work and applying for full-time jobs. He said he became interested in video work after meeting the crew who documented his work in Afghanistan.

Currently, he does freelance work and he said he’s job hunting for a full-time career in video work.

He looks back on his time in the military with fondness and said the quilt is a reminder of the years he spent in the military.

“It was very touching and heartfelt and I really appreciated it,” Wolf said. “It’s a nice memento.”

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.


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