104-year-old WWII veteran honored in Rock Hill

- Hugh A. Barnett, Jr., says being in the military was a blessing. He served in the Army during World War II. He’ll turn 105 years old in August.

“Thank you all very much for this. Because as it turned out, the military was nothing but good for me. Otherwise, how would I have gotten to Harvard and MIT to study electronics?” Barnett said.

Barnett’s Rock Hill congregation, Grace Lutheran Church, hosted a surprise Quilts of Valor® Award Ceremony Sunday. He received a certificate and handmade quilt as part of the lifetime achievement award. 

“This is the highest award that the civilian can present to a veteran for thanks for their military service,” said Harvey C. Mayhill, project specialist with the Quilts of Valor Foundation.

Mayhill said more than 164,000 Quilts of Valor have been awarded since its founding in 2003 and that South Carolina is leading the nation in awarding over 2,000 Quilts of Valor each year for the past five years. 

Barnett has one daughter and two grandchildren. Barnett’s wife, who has since passed away, was a Navy nurse.

Barnett has lived in Rock Hill for 20 years, moving from the Atlanta area.

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