Honoring those who stood in harm’s way

Mar 4, 2021 | Uncategorized

By Mary-Justine Lanyon

Continuing a tradition that began in 2003, Ginger Gabriel and several of the quilters who help make Quilts of Valor presented two more quilts to mountain veterans as a tangible reminder of appreciation for their service.

“These quilts,” Gabriel told David Morrison and Nathan Lewis, “are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts.” Prior recipients have said that the quilts offer them comfort and have made a difference in their lives.

Gabriel told of one veteran who said that, on nights when he cannot fall asleep, he wraps himself in his Quilt of Valor, which calms him.

As part of the presentation, each recipient is wrapped in his handmade quilt.

Nationally, Gabriel said, more than 250,000 quilts have been awarded. Locally, the chapter headed up by Gabriel has presented more than 150 quilts.

David Laughton Morrison, who was named after his father’s best friend, who was shot down in WWII, served one tour of duty in Vietnam in the Army. He and his wife, Mary, were married at Fort Ord in Monterey while he was in basic training. He shipped out to Vietnam shortly thereafter.

Morrison was able to take his R&R (rest and relaxation) in Hawaii, where Mary joined him with their daughter, Julie, whom the proud father met for the first time.

Nole Lilley, assistant director of Mountain Fifes & Drums, nominated Morrison to receive his Quilt of Valor, which was made by Gabriel.

Rim High graduate Nathan Lewis enlisted in the Army after high school and served in Korea. He then spent six years at Fort Irwin. During that time, he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he worked with the Afghan National Army.

Lewis’ quilt was made by Marie Simmonds.

Both men received their quilts with great humility, saying there are so many others who deserve the honor more.

“On this 51st anniversary of the Vietnam war,” said Craig Phillips, who nominated Morrison to receive a Quilt of Valor, “it is time to honor those who served and never received the honor they deserved when they came home.”

For more information on Quilts of Valor or to nominate someone to receive one, visit www.qovf.org.



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