Rock Hill, SC - Across the country, one group of volunteers sews quilts for all veterans touched by war as a sign of comfort and appreciation. “The veteran who processed the paperwork on those wounded or killed in action, has been touched by war,” said Harvey Mayhill, Project Specialist for The Quilts of Valor Foundation and also a Vietnam War veteran himself.
Members of the foundation have awarded more than 130,000 quilts nationwide, with the most recent ones being for veterans in Rock Hill. They had a special ceremony today honoring these military heroes with a quilt.
“A Quilt of Valor is a lifetime achievement award,” said Mayhill. “It's the highest award that a civilian can present to veteran in thanks for his military service.
The Quilts of Valor Foundation started in 2003 after a Blue Star mom drew inspiration from her son’s deployment in Iraq to welcome home returning troops with love and appreciation. Mayhill got involved with the organization several years ago and has been hooked ever since, helping veterans in York County get a quilt.
“Every stitch is done with love,” said Mary Fellows, a volunteer quilter with the foundation. She’s been sewing for years but after hearing about Quilts of Valor, wanted to do what she could to support veterans just like her husband.
“My husband was in the military for 42 years so I certainly have a reason to admire those who been in the service for so long,” she said.
Fellows and several other others spent the day sewing parts of quilts while ten local military heroes were presented with one of their own. She and Mayhill agree that there’s something special not just in the quilt itself but also in the way it’s presented to the recipients.
“You can hand a veteran a quilt - that's a gift,” said Mayhill. When you wrap them in a quilt, that's an award. It's an award of love.”
“It just means so much, that people care,” said William Crockett, a Korean War veteran.
From the time it takes to the materials, everything it takes to craft and present the quilts is donated out of love.
“I appreciate everything and all these quilters really make me feel good,” said Crockett.
“We touch lives and that gives us great feeling great honor and pride,” said Mayhill.
If you would like to nominate yourself or another veteran that you think is worthy of a quilt, you can go to QOFV.org and click “request a QOV” to fill out a form. Because it is a lifetime award, any and all veterans can only receive one. You can also find more information on the foundation itself on that website, including how to make a donation.