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Amargosa veterans honored with their own Quilts of Valor ceremony

The Nye County Valor Quilters are on a mission — to cover local veterans in the comfort of healing Quilts of Valor to honor the service and sacrifices they’ve made in the name of freedom - and now, these talented artists have started to expand their reach outside of the Pahrump Valley.

This month, the all-volunteer nonprofit held a special Quilts of Valor Presentation Ceremony just for Amargosa area veterans. Taking place Saturday, April 13 at the Amargosa Valley Senior Center, the ceremony honored eight Amargosa residents from four branches of the U.S Armed Forces.

Welcoming the small but obviously delighted group that had gathered for the ceremony was Nye County Valor Quilters President Elba Rocha, who gave an overview of the Quilts of Valor Foundation and the creation of the local chapter.

The national Quilts of Valor Foundation was born of a dream, literally, that military mom Catherine Roberts had in 2003 when her son was deployed in Iraq.

“The dream was as vivid as real life. I saw a young man sitting on the side of his bed in the middle of the night, hunched over. The permeating feeling was one of utter despair,” Roberts detailed of that fateful event. “I could see his war demons clustered around, dragging him down into an emotional gutter. Then, as if viewing a movie, I saw him in the next scene wrapped in a quilt. His whole demeanor changed from one of despair to one of hope and well-being. The quilt had made this dramatic change. The message of my dream was: quilts equal healing.”

More than 20 years later, the Quilts of Valor Foundation has chapters all over America. The Nye County Valor Quilters was founded in 2016 by Denise Kearl, a quilter and veteran herself and to date, the Nye County Valor Quilters have created and awarded more than 775 Quilts of Valor. The total nationwide now stands at nearly 380,000.

Every creation presented by the Nye County Valor Quilters is entirely unique and each is crafted with not only skill but plenty of love and gratitude as well.

The recipients set to receive their very own handmade quilts on April 13 included U.S. Army veteran Joseph LaBassiere II, U.S. Marine veteran Fernando Pedraza and U.S. Air Force veterans David Black and Thomas Smith, along with U.S. Navy veterans Thomas Baker, Trevor Dolby, Victor Eastley and George Little.

The Nye County Valor Quilters is 100% volunteer based and does not receive any funding from the national organization. As such, the group relies on fundraising activities and the generosity of its own members, as well as those in the community who contribute to the cause. Every dollar donated to the nonprofit goes directly into the creation of a Quilt of Valor.

Donations to the Nye County Valor Quilters can be sent to P.O. Box 3632, Pahrump, NV, 89041.

The group is always looking for additional nominees to honor. To learn more or to submit a nomination for a Quilt of Valor visit NCVQ.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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