MINT HILL, NC – On Monday, March 15, Old Glory Quilters and the Quilts of Valor Foundation conducted an award ceremony to honor two Mint Hill veterans at the Philadelphia Presbyterian Church.
The veterans are Robert Black Long, a 94-year-old World War II hero from the greatest generation who served in the United States Navy on a destroyer. The other recipient is George Steven Davis, a United States Army veteran who was recognized for his service during the Vietnam War. Both veterans were nominated by Mrs. Janice Cooper of Mint Hill to receive the prestigious award.
The war veterans both received “A Quilt of Valor,” which is a lifetime achievement award and a thank you for their military service. Veterans often consider a Quilt of Valor one of the highest awards they have ever received. These quilts are individually handmade by volunteer quilters and are considered to be priceless. The veteran has earned it by their service for freedom around the world. The quilt for Robert Long was made by Mrs. Brenda McDowell and presented by Mrs. Cooper in her absence. The quilt for George Davis was made by Mrs. Kelly Coble. Mr. Davis also received a 50th year memento Vietnam War Commemoration Pin with a signed presidential letter. The award represents “A Lasting Memento of the Nation’s Thanks!”
The Group Leader for Old Glory Quilters (#13471) located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and primary speaker at the event was Harvey C. Mayhill, a United States Air Force veteran from 1961-1965. He sent a clear message for all in the audience to grasp: “If you have been overseas, gone off to war and served in combat, there is no explanation necessary, because no explanation is possible.”
Therefore, the quilt must be awarded; it’s not a gift, and it must be recorded. This recognition is truly prized by all veterans who receive a quilt. However, when a Vietnam veteran receives an award in particular, it may be the first time anyone has thanked them for their service.
So what is a Quilt of Valor? It’s a quality handmade quilt that is machine or hand quilted by a dedicated volunteer. It is awarded to a service member or veteran who has been touched by war. The quilt simply and unequivocally says, “Thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our great nation.” There have been over 270,000 Quilts of valor awarded since the organization was founded in 2003 by Catherine Roberts, who was a Blue Star mother whose son went off to war to serve in Iraq.
The award is considered to be one of the highest awards a veteran can ever receive as it is not a military award or medal; it comes from the heart and hands of an appreciative patriotic civilian citizen. The organization is known to be a veterans’ service and support group among others who recognize and award the Quilts of Valor to veterans and active duty military service members as a Thank You and Welcome Home.