Nine veterans presented with Quilts of Valor
By Pat Dowling|
On Monday, Aug. 15, representatives of the local chapter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation presented nine veterans with Quilts of Valor. All the recipients are also members of the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department.
Those receiving personal Quilts of Valor were Michael Baldasarre, Bryan Floyd, James Martin, Hannah McLaurin, Stephen Murphy, Robert Speedling, Ian Vaughn, J. Phillip Webster and Keith Williams.
Quilts of Valor began in 2003. It is then that founder Catherine Roberts, whose son was deployed in Iraq, had a dream. In her dream, she saw a young man sitting on the side of the road in the middle of the night, hunched over. The permeating feeling in her dream was one of utter despair.
“I could see his war demons clustered around him,” she said, “dragging him down into an emotional gutter. Then, as if viewing a movie, I saw him in the next scene wrapped in a quilt. His whole demeanor had changed from one of despair to one of hope and well-being. The quilt had made this dramatic change. The message of my dream was - quilts equal healing.”
According to Joan Wobbleton, head of the local chapter of Quilts of Valor, volunteer teams donate their time and materials to make a quilt for veterans who have been touched by war. One person pieces the top, and another quilts it. The quilts are not provided to families or others, only to veterans. Each quilt recipient is encouraged to not put their quilt away in a chest or to display it as a museum piece but to use it when they feel the need to warm themselves, to feel better about life or themselves.
North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley was invited to address the recipients. She recalled those times as a child when she was scared or ill, and her mother or grandmother would put a quilt around her. She recalled that with the quilt around her, she would very soon feel safer, better, warmer, more loved and cared for. She encouraged the recipients to make their quilts a part of their lives. Mayor Hatley also thanked them for their service to their country and their continuing service to North Myrtle Beach residents and visitors as police officers and firefighters.
Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson also spoke. He reminded those in the audience that, while not everyone can make a quilt by hand, everyone can say “Thank You” to those who have served their country and to those who now serve their communities as police officers and firefighter/EMTs.