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Handmade Quilts of Valor bestowed on local veterans in Pahrump

With less than a week until Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 6 seemed to be the perfect date for the Nye County Valor Quilters to host a Quilts of Valor presentation in honor of nearly two dozen former military service members who call the Pahrump Valley home.

It was a particularly exceptional event in that it was also the very first that the group has been able to hold since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Traditionally, the Nye County Valor Quilters host two Quilts of Valor presentations each year but with the public health crisis sweeping across the nation and halting all sorts of events and happenings, the group has not been able to bestow any of those lovingly crafted, handmade quilts since their March 7, 2020 presentation.

This was a source of much disappointment for both the quilters themselves and the area veterans who were set to receive their very own Quilts of Valor. Now, however, with the pandemic settling down and things gradually returning to a modicum of normalcy, the Nye County Valor Quilters were overjoyed to be able to finally invite those veterans out for a late-morning ceremony meant to recognize the sacrifices they have made and to underscore the appreciation that the quilters and indeed, the entire community, have for those who dedicated themselves to protecting America.

The Nov. 6 Quilts of Valor Presentation Ceremony took place at 11 a.m. inside the Bob Ruud Community Center, where veterans were joined by their family and friends, all out to show their support. It was a touching ceremony with Nye County Valor Quilters unfolding their masterpieces and displaying them to the crowd before draping them over the shoulders of the veterans for whom they were made.

Each of these quilts was a unique work of art in and of itself, having been designed and pieced together with incredible care and attention, but they are much more than simply quilts. They come with a deep meaning as well, with Valor Quilters explaining the importance of each aspect of the quilt.

“We think of each layer of the quilt in this way: the top of the quilt, with its many colors, shapes and fabrics, represents the community and the many individuals that we are,” the Quilts of Valor presentation program details. “The batting is the filler, the center of the quilt, its warmth. It represents our hope that this quilt will bring warmth, comfort, peace and healing to the individual who receives it. The backing is the strength that supports the other layers. It represents the strength of the recipient, the support of his or her family, our communities and our nation. Each stitch that holds the layers together represents love, gratitude and sometimes the tears of the maker.”

There were a total of 18 recipients named in the event program, each filed under the branch of the military in which they served.

Recipients from the U.S. Army included Jerry Bates, Maria Becker, Woody Bowers, Arcangelo Cocco, Kenneth Frickey Sr., Laura Frickey, Jerry Hashimura, Steve Johnson, Christy Krueger, Charles Otis, Steven Thompson and Wayne White.

There was just one recipient each from the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, which were William Fredriksen and Steven Williams, respectively.

Those from the U.S. Air Force who received a Quilt of Valor included Charles Benson, Frederick Cupernall, Margaret Dye and Gary Kostick.

With the Nov. 6 presentation, the Nye County Valor Quilters have made and presented a total of 586 Quilts of Valor since its inception in January 2016, a fact that brings a bright smile to the faces of those who work so hard to create these incredible quilts. But their work is nowhere near an end, as there are thousands of veterans in the area who are just as deserving of a Quilt of Valor as those who have already been nominated and received one.

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation as a whole is to cover all service members touched by war in comforting and healing Quilts of Valor and all of the work that goes into making the quilts is done by volunteers. The Nye County Valor Quilters rely on the generosity of its own members as well as the community in order to continue making its quilts and any donations that make their way to the group are used solely to purchase the materials and supplies necessary to carry out the nonprofit’s mission.

Those interested in supporting the Nye County Valor Quilters with a monetary donation can do so by sending a check to Nye County Valor Quilters, P.O. Box 3632, Pahrump, NV, 89041.

For more information or to submit an application for a veteran to receive a Quilt of Valor visit www.qovf.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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