Fremont County's Quilts of Valor: Scarpelli chose a patriotic colored one

One of the veterans who received a Quilt of Valor Thursday night didn’t know about the program until a friend told him about it. Frank Scarpelli, a Hanna native who is the former commander of the Riverton VFW, spent three years in the South Pacific during World War II as a combat engineer for the Army, moving from one location to another building air strips and doing construction wherever needed. His long-time pal, Ken Gaskell, nominated him for the honor. Scarpelli said he still thinks about the worst memory he has of the war, when the combat engineers were in Manila and had spent a full day clearing land mines laid by the Japanese. Sometime overnight, apparently the enemy troops re-entered the area and replaced the mines. Thinking the area was clear, an entire squadron of men was killed when the mines went off. He is now 92 and one-half years old. Somethings one never forgets. One happy memory is that four of Scarpelli’s brothers were also in WWII, “and we all come home without a scratch.” Gaskell served in the Navy SeaBees in Korea for 13 months with other postings in California and Japan. Gaskell is now 82, ten years less than Scarpelli’s age, but the two said they’ve been friends “forever.” Scarpelli chose a patriotic red, white and blue quilt. [image: Inline image 1] *Frank Scarpelli, left, and his long-time friend Ken Gaskell* *Feature Photo: Scrapelli gets his quilt * *#county10*