Quilts of Valor: A dozen veterans recognized in first of three weekend ceremonies
FLORENCE, S.C. – The Quilts of Valor Foundation presented quilts to 12 local veterans Friday during the Jingle Bell Market at the Florence Center.
Bill Hunt, Larry Alexander, Raymond Mack, Tim Sullivan, Doug Floyd, Barry Wingard, Daniel Gillespie, Mark Daniels, Gordon Ross, Robert Hendrix, Eric Nobels and Chastity Wilson received quilts during the ceremony.
There will be two more ceremonies during the Jingle Bell Market: one today and one on Sunday. Both ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m. at the Florence Center.
During the quilt ceremony, the Wilson High School Air Force Junior ROTC presented the colors and the quilts to the veterans.
Anne Mixon, the South Carolina state coordinator of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, said this is an important way to show the veterans they’re appreciated.
“We couldn’t do the things that we love in the comfort and safety of our home or we couldn’t come to the Florence Center if it wasn’t for our veterans and what they do for us,” Mixon said. “I didn’t have the courage to sign up and say ‘I’ll serve,’ but I sew, and I sew well. So why wouldn’t I make them a quilt to say thank you?”
Wingard, a retired colonel who served in the U.S. Army, said he will display his quilt on a piece of furniture in his home.
“For veterans to be recognized for their service is great,” Wingard said. “You know, we went through a period of time where veterans did not get the recognition they deserve.”
Wingard said he suggested the Quilts of Valor recognize the Veterans Honor Guard, the veterans who conduct military honors during funerals. Those veterans are being honored between the three ceremonies during the Jingle Bell Market, and some will be recognized during a wreath ceremony on Dec. 14.
Mixon said each quilt takes approximately 100 hours to make. All of the quilts are made by volunteers.
The group hosts “sew days” for people to get together and sew the quilts together.
According to a press release from the Quilts of Valor Foundation, during tomorrow’s ceremony Jesse Leak, Nick Lee, A.A. Farley, Jack Magurn, James McLaughlin, Charles Taylor, Keith Galloway and Steven Blake Rogers will be honored.
During Sunday’s ceremony, Lon Bower, Jim Maurer, Jim Leslie, Don Manley, Wayne Jackson, Paul Stanfford, Edwin Morris and Roger Bruchard will be honored.