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Veterans receive Quilts of Valor in Saturday morning ceremony

WEST POINT — At 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, two veterans from LaGrange became the latest recipients of Quilts of Valor sewn by the Georgia-Alabama chapter at sewingmachine.com in downtown West Point.

Both men are veterans of the Vietnam War. Mike Ellis was with the U.S. Marines from 1966-72 and William Scanlon was with the U.S. Army from 1968-70. Mr. Scanlon was accompanied to the program by his wife, daughter Nicole Comerford and grandchildren Amelia, Annie and Will.

Mr. Ellis was accompanied by his wife Judith. They have a son, Michael, and a grandson, Seth.

The women from the local chapter of Quilts of Valor meet on the first Saturday of every month at sewingmachine.com. They thanked Steve Tramell for allowing them to use their equipment to do the quilting.

Quilts of Valor is a national foundation of people who make quilts to cover service members and veterans who have been touched by war in order to provide comfort, honor and gratitude for their sacrifices and service. It was founded in 2003 by Catherine Roberts, whose son had been deployed to Iraq.

It took three years for Roberts and her small group to make the first 100 quilts for active duty personnel and veterans. As the organization grew to a nationwide group of quilters, that number is close to 190,000, an impressive number but still far short of the  goal being sought by the quilters: to cover every active service member and veteran.

There’s a three-part message in the presentation of every quilt: honor, thanks and comfort.

“We honor you for your service,” Shelia Simpson said to the two men being recognized. “We thank you for your many sacrifices and we offer you the comfort provided by a quilt. We hope you will look at your quilt as a tangible reminder that there are thousands of men and women across America who are forever in your debt and that it is our pleasure to honor you with a Quilt of Valor.”