Fort Smith veteran Marvin Thomas received a Quilt of Valor Friday (Feb. 26) for his service in World War II.
“I’m surprised, that’s for sure," Thomas said. "I love it, and I’ll have many years, I hope to appreciate it."
The River Valley Stars Quilts of Valor presented Thomas with the quilt through the window because of COVID-19 restrictions at Methodist Village. The group makes quilts for veterans who have been touched by war.
“As a quilter myself, I know the hours and love that went into making that quilt, and I appreciate it so much, and I appreciate the honor that has been given to him by the awarding of this quilt,” Suzanne McPherson said.
Thomas’s daughter, Suzanne McPherson, says her dad, who is almost 99, was supposed to be awarded the quilt almost a year ago, the same week that visitation stopped because of the pandemic, so she’s happy he was finally able to be presented it.
“My grandfather served in World War I, my father and uncle served in World War II, my mother was a Rosie the Riveter, and so I’m just so proud of what they sacrificed for our country,” she said.
Since Quilts of Valor was founded in 2003, they have quilted and presented quilts to 269,000 veterans in the U.S. and several other countries. Every quilt is personalized with the veteran’s name and the branch of service they served in, and each quilt is different. Sue Anderson helped make the quilt and said it’s very special for her to present these quilts to veterans because several of her family members were also in the service.
“It’s an emotional thing because some of them say I’ve never had anyone say thank you to me, so it’s very meaningful to them and to us, she said. "It just reinforces what we are doing."
If you would like to nominate a veteran to receive a Quilt of Valor or donate to the non-profit, you can click here.