Veterans honored for service, receive quilt

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Several area veterans were wrapped in gratitude on Thursday.

Members of the Quilts of Valor Foundation presented them with a quilt at the Beck PRIDE Center in Jonesboro.

The purpose of the ceremony is to show veterans appreciation for their service.

Richard Carvell served in the United States Air Force during Vietnam.

Carvell said he was grateful to be recognized.

"What an honor," Carvell said. "What an honor it has been to receive a Quilt of Valor. A lot of my Vietnam brothers did not get much of a welcome home when we came back. I came back to the United States in 1971. I landed in California and it took me a day to out process. I was told that when I went to the San Francisco Airport that I would probably run into some demonstrators."

The Quilts of Valor Foundation was created in 2003.

The Foundation's mission is to cover all service members and veterans wounded physically or psychologically with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

Carl Mosby served in the United States Army and said this was the best gift he could receive.

"It was something like getting the top award in the military," Mosby said. "This is a big award I'm getting. I really appreciate what these ladies are doing for veterans."

Arlie Williams was with the United States Army.

Williams said veterans need the support of their communities.

"I think it's good to honor veterans," Williams said. "It's an honor for us to be honored."

"I am so grateful to the Quilts of Valor Foundation," Carvell said. "They have become local. It started out as a national organization, but now they've got chapters all over the state of Arkansas. With a volunteer military, there is a very small percentage of those who are in the military and serve. It's a commitment, it's a sacrifice and there are those, God bless them, who gave with their lives. We were the lucky ones. We got to come home."

Billy Jack Simpkins served in the United States Army.

Simpkins also said getting acknowledged for service means a lot.

"I think it's an honor to finally get recognized," Simpkins said. "We didn't get recognized when we came back. World War II veterans did, but we didn't. They called it the 'Forgotten War' and it really was. I think it's a great honor to be recognized and appreciate they do it now."

The veterans who received Quilts of Valor were Robert Puckett of Bono, Troy Rimmer and Loyd Wood of Paragould and then Arlie Williams, Billy Jack Simpkins, Carl Mosby, Richard Carvell, Robert Strehlow, Billy Cribbs and Rush Nash of Jonesboro.

They have awarded 186,662 quilts so far.

For more information about the Quilts of Valor Foundation, click here.

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