Quilts of Valor remaining busy

Published 10:05 am Friday, November 17, 2023

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WEST POINT — The Georgia-Alabama Chapter of the Quilts of Valor has been very busy lately.  Four quilts were awarded to veterans over the recent Veterans Day weekend, and nine more will be awarded Friday at an 11:15 a.m. CST ceremony at the Fort Mitchell Historic Site near Phenix City.

The most recent recipients include four veterans from the Vietnam War. They are William Combs, James Harris, Harry Steele, and Anthony “Sonny” Noles.

Combs was honored on Friday at Bradshaw Library, Harris and Steele on Saturday at sewingmachine.com in downtown West Point and Noles on Sunday at Beulah Baptist Church.

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Harris is originally from Roanoke but has lived in Chambers County for most of his life. He was accompanied by family members to the Saturday ceremony. He has been dealing with health issues after having been exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam in 1967-69. He was trained at Fort Benning and Fort Gordon before going to South Vietnam in the First Infantry, famed as the Big Red One. He was stationed at Phuoc Vinh and Quan Loi during his time in southeast Asia. At one point in his service, he was the radio man while patrolling Highway 13. He was wounded while in Vietnam and airlifted to Japan for treatment.

He attained the rank of E4 as a soldier.

Steele was in the U.S. Army and was trained at Fort Benning and Fort Knox before going to Vietnam in 1966. He was wounded in 1968. His commendations include a Purple Heart, Silver Star, three Presidential Air Medals and a Good Conduct Medal.

In the Saturday program, Debra Alexander said that the quilting group is always open for volunteers to come and help them.

“If you have some skill in quilting or sewing, we will be glad to have you. If you just want to come and visit with us. that would be good, too.”

The local chapter has made a special effort to award quilts to veterans of World War II and Vietnam. Those Americans who came of age during WW II have often been called “the Greatest Generation.” Precious few veterans of that war are still living.

The Vietnam War was a divisive period for our country, and those Americans who served in it were often disrespected on their return home.