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Four brothers recognized for military service

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) -On Saturday, July 23, Quilts of Valor awarded four veterans who are brothers by service and by blood.

“It feels really good,” said Quilt of Valor recipient Eddy Navarrete.

Eddy served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1972. Eddy was an armored crewman based in Germany during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in 1972. Afterwards, he served for two years in the Army Reserves. Eddy was awarded the National Defense Medal.

“I know it’s a national thing. It’s all over,” said Quilt of Valor recipient Johnny Navarrete.

Johnny served in the United States Marines from 1973 to 1977. He served during the Vietnam era and in Okinawa, Japan. He served in Supply Administrative Operations. Johnny was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, National Event Service Medal and Meritorious Mast.

Their eldest brother, Jesse Navarrete, passed away in 2019. He was an example for his younger siblings. Jesse Navarrete served in the air force for twenty years and served in Vietnam.

“My older brother left a year after I was born,” said Johnny Navarrete. “He said he left to make room for me because there were ten of us at home.”

The Navarrete family created their own legacy as many of their family members have also served in the military.

“You want to see more young people go into the military,” said Quilt of Valor recipient Richard Navarrete. “At the same time, you don’t want to be the person who told them to join. It’s a decision they have to make on their own.”

Richard Navarrete served in the United States Navy from 1959 to 1963 and a second tour of duty from 1967 to 1969. Richard was a Hospital Corpsman with duties on the U.S. Okanogan. In 1960, he transported Marines to Asia. In 1962, he was in Cuba for amphibious training preparing for the Cuban Invasion. In 1967, he was assigned to the U.S. Repose, which was a hospital ship that received wounded U.S. troops from Da Nang and Quang Tri, Vietnam. In 1968, Richard was a part of the Naval Air Force that delivered heavy equipment. He was honorably discharged in 1969. From 1970 to 2005, Richard worked at the Veteran’s Hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Richard was awarded the Armed Expedition Medal.

Even though the Quilt of Valor ceremony honored the Navarrete brothers, Jose honors those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“I would like to mention the guys who got killed. There were eleven of them from North Platte,” said Quilt of Valor recipient Jose Navarrete. “The ones I recognized are Tom Sotto. I met him in Louisiana and I never saw him again. Then my friend Soda, his son was killed too. That’s who I honor.”

Jose Navarrete served in the United States Army from 1957 to 1986. He served in Vietnam and several countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Korea and Honduras. His honors include: the Vietnam Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.

After Saturday’s ceremony, 58 quilts of valor have been awarded to veterans in North Platte.

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