The Nye County Valor Quilters are on a mission to cover as many military service members and veterans in comforting, healing Quilts of Valor as they can and the group recently added another 28 to their tally following a recent presentation ceremony.
Held inside the Valley Conference Center on March 2, the Quilts of Valor ceremony saw a large turnout of veteran supporters all gathered together to honor those who have given their service to America.
The event was opened by Nye County Valor Quilters Group Leader Elba Rocha, who welcomed the crowd. The Civil Air Patrol Pahrump Squadron Color Guard posted the colors and the voices of the audience rose together in the Pledge of Allegiance before singer Kittra Warren belted out the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
An invocation was followed by another tune from Warren, “America the Beautiful,” kicking off the event with just the right touch of patriotism.
Rocha then took to the microphone, recognizing the 57 group members whose efforts and hard work allow the organization to continue to thrive. Rocha also provided an overview of the history of the national organization and the Pahrump chapter.
“In 2003, a quilter, Blue Star mom Catherine Roberts, started the Quilts of Valor Foundation… from her sewing room,” Rocha explained. “Her son’s deployment to Iraq provided the initial inspiration and her desire to welcome returning groups home with love and gratitude provided the rest.”
Rocha stated that over time, the mission of the foundation had expanded, becoming a nationwide endeavor to bring comfort to all military service members and veterans touched by war, regardless of the conflict. Since 2003, more than 212,000 quilts have been awarded across America.
In Pahrump, the Nye County Valor Quilters were started by Denise Kearl, a veteran herself, in Jan. 2016. In the three years since, the quilters have created hundreds of Quilts of Valor, with Rocha enthusing, “After this ceremony, Nye County Valor Quilters will have awarded 452 quilts!”
Rocha then turned the ceremony to its main feature, the presentations. One by one the veterans were called forward and their one-of-a-kind quilts were revealed, displaying dazzling colors and patterns that prompted shouts of appreciation from those watching.
It was a ceremony overflowing with emotion.
From the Army and Navy to the Marines and Air Force, nearly 30 veterans were honored and all were visibly moved by the sentiment represented in each quilt.
Army veterans presented with Quilts of Valor included William Armitage, Roosevelt Bostic Jr., George Cortell, Marie Davidson, Dwight Kirk, Wes Matheny, Hallard Moody, Douglas Perkins, Paul Riley, Carl Shock, Kenneth Thomas, Robert Trout and Jessie Wise.
Navy veterans included John Johnson, Dawn Mobley, Wayne Stevens and Michael Zaman.
Those who served in the Marine Corps included Gerard Dumont, Burton Gigoux, Thomas Polizzi, Bruce Russell, Jack Thomas, William Tisdale, Laurie Wilson and Robert Wilson.
Air Force veterans included Peggy Muise, John Todd and Floyd Young, along with Trout, who served in both the Army and Air Force.
Whether solemn or smiling, all those who were wrapped in the comforting embrace of the quilt made just for them offered their profound gratitude to the members of the Nye County Valor Quilters.
Many also noted that the quilts meant an enormous amount to them and they were accepting the handmade gifts not just on their own behalf, but on behalf of their comrades as well.
The Nye County Valor Quilters in a local nonprofit organization and it depends on the generosity of its members and others in the community in order to succeed. Each of the quilts made for area veterans is special, unique and the fabric and other materials needed to complete them can be costly.
Rocha noted that any donation toward the group’s mission is highly appreciated, as it helps ensure the Valor Quilters can carry on in its goal of honoring those who serve.
Donation checks can be mailed to Nye County Valor Quilters, P.O. Box 3632, Pahrump, NV, 89041.
For more information or to request a quilt for an area veteran, visit www.ncvq.org
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org