Five area veterans were recently awarded Quilts of Valor in honor and recognition of their service to our country.
They were honored Oct. 8 for their sacrifice during a socially distanced ceremony outside the Marlboro County Veterans Affairs Office. Crescent Hospice is a partner with Quilts of Valor, which is a national organization whose members produce hand-made patriotic quilts to honor veterans throughout the country.
The recipients were Michael Hopkins of Bennettsville, Richard Hubbard of Bennettsville, Hamer McRae of Clio, Brenda Curry of Chesterfield, and Jeffery Wyatt of Blenheim.
Hopkins is a U.S. Army veteran who served from 1967-1970. He was in Vietnam in 1968.
Hubbard is a U.S. Marine veteran who served from 1965-1967. He received two Purple Hearts.
McRae is a U.S. Army veteran who served from 1977-1993.
Curry is a U.S. Airforce veteran who served from 1969-1975 and was in Vietnam.
Wyatt is a U.S. Army veteran who served from 1992-2016.
Andrea Perkins, a volunteer coordinator for Crescent Hospice, made the presentations to the veterans with assistance from Veterans Affairs Officer Reginald McLeod, Assistant Amber Goings, and Rep. Pat Henegan.
For each quilt, there was paperwork telling who made it and where it came from along with the recipient’s name and when the person was presented with the quilt.
Mike Parnell, a chaplain with Crescent Hospice, said he never served in other than God’s Army but had a family full of military personnel.
“So we always count as a special privilege to be involved with anything concerning veterans,” he said.
Parnell noted that God in the Bible honors soldiers and read a passage from 2 Timothy.
McLeod shared a brief history of the Quilts of Valor.
Quilts of Valor Foundation is a national organization founded in 2003 by Blue Star mom Catherine Roberts. With a son deployed in Iraq, a gunner sitting atop a humvee, Roberts felt only 10 seconds away from panic.
She had a vision of a post deployed soldier struggling with his war demons at two o’clock in the morning. She saw him sitting on the side of his bed wrapped in a quilt. The quilt not only comforted him but warded off his demons.
McLeod said thus the Quilts of Valor Foundation was formed. The mission of Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover all combat service members and veterans that have been touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. Since its founding, quilts of valor has awarded over 95,000 quilts to veterans of military service, conflicts, and wars.
“Each Quilt of Valor is formed by loving hands joining bits of fabric one piece at a time,” McLeod said.
A Quilt of Valor may be fashioned by only one or two individuals or through the combined efforts of many women and men of all skill levels. Quilters often join together in sewing bees to create these wonderful quilts.
“On behalf of the Quilts of Valor Foundation and a grateful nation with our deepest respect and deepest appreciation, we wish to say thank you for your service to our country with this Quilt of Valor award,” he said.
Henegan thanked everyone for their service on behalf of the S.C. General Assembly. She said her father fought in World War II and her brother was a Vietnam Veteran.
“I appreciate everything you have done,” she said. “Without you, America would not be what it is today.”