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Quilting to honor and comfort

These veterans were presents with Quilts of Valor during a ceremony Sunday morning at the Murray Jamboree in Mallory Park. Pictured in front, from left, are John Rider, Wayne W. Phillips and Donnie L. Carrico. In back, from left, are Larry Butts, Shappell Rider, Jolene Thacker, Larry D. Carrico, Gene Burgus and Gerald Brown.
These veterans were presents with Quilts of Valor during a ceremony Sunday morning at the Murray Jamboree in Mallory Park. Pictured in front, from left, are John Rider, Wayne W. Phillips and Donnie L. Carrico. In back, from left, are Larry Butts, Shappell Rider, Jolene Thacker, Larry D. Carrico, Gene Burgus and Gerald Brown.

MURRAY – Nine Quilts of Valor were presented to veterans from the Murray community at the sesquicentennial celebration Sunday to honor their service, sacrifice and valor.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation began in 2003 with founder Catherine Roberts’ dream. Her son was deployed in Iraq and one night she had a powerful dream in which she saw a soldier struggling with his war demons at night. In the next part of her dream, she saw the soldier wrapped, comforted and calmed by a quilt. Shortly after, she made her first Quilt of Valor.

This led Roberts to found a project where a volunteer team would donate its time and materials to make a quilt.

Becky Rogers is a volunteer for the organization and wanted to honor veterans from Murray, where she grew up, even though she currently lives in Missouri.

“There’s nothing better,” said Rogers reflecting on the experience of honoring those in her community.

Those presented with a Quilt of Valor were Jerald Brown, Gene Burgus, Wayne W. Phillips, Donnie L. Carrico, Larry D. Carrico, Jolene Thacker, John Rider, Shapell Rider and Larry Butts.

During the presentation, each veteran was presented a quilt and a short biography was read about his or her service.

One such veteran was Butts, who enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in April 1960 and attended bootcamp in San Diego. He was honorably discharged in October 1966 with the rank of Staff Sergeant E6. In 1978, Butts joined the U.S. Army Reserve Unit in Creston and went on deployments to various Air Guard, Air Force and Army National Guard Bases around the U.S. He also was deployed to Canada, Panama, England, Germany and Italy. Butts retired in 1999 as an Air Force Master Sergeant E07. During his years of service, he received a Small Arms Expert Marksman Medal, a Humanitarian Service Medal and an Air force Meritorious Service Medal. In all, he served his country for 27 1/2 years.

This is the second time that the Quilts of Valor group has presented quilts in Murray. The first was at the dedication of the Freedom Rock last November.

“I plan to be involved with this organization for as long as veterans need to be covered,” said Rogers.

Members of the Quilts of Valor group who contributed to the ceremony Sunday were Diana Moffitt-Robins, Becky Webb Rogers, Anne Welker and Jeri Beem.

The Quilts of Valor community today includes more than 9,000 members and volunteers across America who make and award quilts to veterans and service members touched by war. To date, more than 193,000 Quilts of Valor have been presented in every state and to individuals from every branch of service.

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