Quilts of Valor gives 19 quilts

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, March 10, 2020

WEST POINT — On Saturday morning, the Georgia-Alabama State Line chapter of the Quilts of Valor awarded 19 quilts to veterans from the two-state area. It was the most quilts given by the local chapter in a single event.

The honorees included a father and son, ten Army veterans, three who had served in the Marines, one in the Air Force and one in the Navy. One of them served in World War II, one in the Korean War, nine of them in Vietnam, one in Operation Desert Storm and one in the Afghanistan War.

Bernard Paschal of Valley is the WWII veteran honored on Saturday. He served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater of the war. Ned Burton was with the U.S. Army during the Korean War in 1951-52. The father and son are Tim and Josh Procise of Lanett. An Army veteran, Tim served in Vietnam from 1970-73. Josh has been in the Air Force since 2001. He’s currently in the reserves and works as a police officer in Auburn.

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Other Vietnam veterans receiving quilts on Saturday were Eugene Morris of Lanett, who was in Vietnam while serving in the Army from 1969-75; Army veteran Thomas Hemmings of Newnan, who was there from 1965-68; Marine veteran Ron Porter of Lanett, who was there from 1965-68; Army veteran Roy Brown of Douglasville, Georgia, who served in Vietnam from 1967-69;  Gary Bradley of Valley, who served in Vietnam during his Army career that extended from 1963 to 1980;  James Poer of Valley, who was in Vietnam during his 1969-75 career in the Navy; Army veteran Dudley Lambert of Tyrone, who served in Vietnam from 1970-72 and Army veteran Joe Spraggins of West Point, who was in Vietnam from 1965-68.

Robert Cameron of Franklin, who was with the U.S. Marines from 1975-95 and was in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s.

Jason Kingsland of Rotterdam, New York served with the Marines in 2001-06 and did two tours of duty in Afghanistan.  Quilts of Valor spokesperson Sheila Simpson had a personal story to share about him.

“He returned from Afghanistan with my son-in-law,” she said.

“We were at Dobbins Air Force base in Marietta when their plane landed. It was so good to welcome them home.”

One of the more familiar faces receiving as quilt Saturday was George Melton of LaFayette. He was in the U.S. Army from 1974-2003 and is well known in Chambers County, having served as sheriff’s office deputy from 1978-2012.

Simpson praised the 15 volunteer quilters for the work they do with the local chapter. They are doing a truly amazing job of making beautiful quilts that are treasured by the recipients.

The public can help this program continue by making monetary donations at sewiwgmachine.com in downtown West Point. Each quilt that’s given away has over $100 in fabric and batting.

“We need your help to keep this going,” Simpson said.

“We would appreciate you getting the word out about this. Much of the cost has been coming out of our own pockets. Donations mean a lot to us.”

The chapter said a big thank you to coordinator Rachel Ramirez, who is giving up her position. She’s moving to California to be with family.

“This has been a wonderful experience for me,” Ramirez said. “It has been an honor for me to give back to those who have served our country.”

Simpson is filling in for her for the present time but would like to find someone else for the position.

Saturday’s program began with Simpson’s granddaughter, Emma, marching into the reception area with the U.S. flag as traditional music such as “The Caissons Go Rolling Along” (Army), “Anchors Aweigh” (Navy), “Iff We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder” (Air Force), the Coast Guard Hymn and the Marine Corps Hymn played.