Give Back

Supporting our troops a passion for Wieck
by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff

DUWAYNE WIECK (right) of Plymouth is presented a 2017 Green Bay Packers Give Back Award by Mark Murphy, Packers president/CEO. — Photo courtesy of the Green Bay Packers DUWAYNE WIECK (right) of Plymouth is presented a 2017 Green Bay Packers Give Back Award by Mark Murphy, Packers president/CEO. — Photo courtesy of the Green Bay Packers PLYMOUTH – For DuWayne Wieck, who served in the U.S. Army, giving something back to those serving in the military and our veterans means a great deal.

The Plymouth resident plays a key role in the Franklin American Legion Post 387 Camo Quilt Project which is located in Plymouth. Camo Quilt, which started in 2006, makes camouflage quilts for U.S troops serving overseas and patriotic quilts for veterans in assisted living, nursing homes, hospice and homebound.

“We didn’t have anything like this [camouflage quilts] when I was in the service years ago. So, it was very unique that I can now give something back to the veterans that are in the service,” said Wieck, who served 22 months in the Army’s field artillery and was stationed in Germany for almost a year.

“We could give something that’s very useful and comforting. The equipment we had back then wasn’t ideal for cold weather. This [camouflage quilt] is something that’s very unique that you could take with you and that’s what it’s designed for.”

Wieck was recognized for his volunteer work with Camo Quilt by being a Senior Recipient of the 2017 Green Bay Packers Give Back Award which recognizes outstanding volunteers in Wisconsin. The annual award, funded by Green Bay Packers Give Back and NFL Foundation, is designed to honor volunteers who exemplify leadership, dedication, creativity and a commitment to improving the communities in which they live through volunteerism.

Wieck and nine others were honored at the Give Back Award luncheon last fall in the Legends Club at Lambeau Field. The recipients were recognized for their work in the community, with each one receiving a $2,000 grant for his/her nonprofit group.

“The Packers are proud to honor these inspiring role models,” said Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy at the luncheon. “Our community is a better place because of their dedication as volunteers for local organizations.”

Wieck is in charge of and guides all male volunteers at the Camo Quilt Project in their duties 566 hours a year. Wieck cuts all military fabric and batting to width and length, trims and inspects quilts and pins all of the patriotic lap quilts.

Wieck makes sure there is enough material for the quilters and that all 12 sewing machines are running properly.

Wieck, a volunteer at Camo Quilt for the past 12 years, attends Wisconsin National Guard sendoff ceremonies and makes sure every soldier has received a camo quilt before he or she leaves for active duty. He also delivers patriotic quilts to veterans and participates in ceremonies honoring the veterans for their service.

“I greatly believe that we should always look out for our veterans and help them, so when I had a chance to give back I thought that’s a great organization to do that,” Wieck said.

“As long as we have money and volunteers we’re going to continue doing this.”

The Camo Quilt Project relies on donations to cover the cost of supplies and materials.

Linda Wieck, DuWayne’s wife, started Camo Quilt and oversees the nonprofit organization.

“Linda and I alone could never have accomplished all of this. We still have a core group of 20-25 people [volunteers] here locally who are always here two or three days a week,” said DuWayne.

“Anytime we’ve needed money they [businesses and individuals] have never wavered as far as contributing to our project.”

The camouflage quilt rolls up like a sleeping bag. It is lightweight and has cotton batting, so it breathes better in the extreme heat. It protects the soldiers from the harsh elements they face.

Military-issued sleeping bags are bulky and hot and must be carried inside their backpacks. The quilt is so popular because it is made from the same camouflage material as the uniforms and can be tied to the outside of the backpack, leaving room inside for personal items.

“A quilt like this is very portable and they could take it with them when they are out on patrol. They could use it for warmth at night. Some of them even said that they use them for a tent for shade, and they’re waterproof,” Wieck pointed out.

The patriotic quilts for the veterans are very colorful with patchwork designs. Each quilt is personalized for the veteran.

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