MURRAY — For the past few years, the Quilt Lovers of Murray have been spreading their love for local military veterans by periodically distributing their works at Murray-area senior living facilities.
Thursday afternoon, nine veterans residing at Brookdale Murray had their chance to be recipients of these red, white and blue tokens of appreciation. And it did not take long to know that the quilts were well-received.
“It’s really kind of mind-boggling. I never thought anything like this would happen. We’ve had different ceremonies over the years that I’ve been involved with. But something like this? Well, this is personal,” said Howard Pervine, who is a veteran of the United States Army Air Corps, having participated in the perhaps the greatest single cause of which his country has been part, World War II, whose soldiers are known to all as “The Greatest Generation.”
“I’ll put (the quilt he received) on my bed and look at it every day, and I would hope that when I’m gone, my grandson and great grandson will honor it and cherish it. I remember my grandparents would make quilts; they made them out of ties. Something like this is really amazing, very appreciated.”
This presentation also had the attention of the community’s two main veterans groups as both Billy Lane Lauffer American Legion Post 73 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6291/Herman Eddie Roberts Jr. Post were represented at Thursday’s distribution.
“We always try to think of our veterans,” said Flenoy Barrow, past commander of Post 6291, who stood in for current Commander David Wilson, who was unable to attend due to a prior commitment. “They’re one of a kind, and I’m not saying that because I’m one of them. That’s just how it is.
“They absolutely would go above and beyond their strength and believe to do what they thought was right. I’ve never seen it any other way with a veteran.”
Amy Doyle of the Quilt Lovers had the role of delivering the red, white and blue woks for the veterans Thursday.
“We’ve been doing this now for about six or seven years,” Doyle told Pervine as they engaged in a conversation. “And our organization has said on many occasions that we love to do it, and we do.”
She also addressed the veterans gathered for the ceremony in the Brookdale activities room.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for your service to our country,” she said. “We deeply appreciate everything that you have done for us.”
Like Barrow, as well as Post 73 representatives Dave Groesbeck and Jim Clemons, Richard Farrell served in the Vietnam War. A Navy veteran, he reflected on his days as a solder.
“It was four of the best years of my life,” Farrell said. “My dad was a veteran of World War II. (Receiving his quilt) is very meaningful. Thank you very much for your thoughts on this. I very much appreciate it.”
Fred Bugg served the Army from 1955-57, which was just after the Korean War. Still, he had the chance to be part of the reactivation of one of World War II’s most well-known units, the 3rd Army, which was commanded under Gen. George Patton.
“They trained 16,000 of us at Fort Knox. They trained us, then sent us to Germany. It was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Bugg said. “I didn’t go to college, but I got the equivalent of a college education. I never dreamed that I was going to learn that much.”
Other veterans receiving quilts Thursday were Raymond Brittain (Army), Sam Howard (Army), Bob Ray (Air Force), Jimmy Wilder (Army), John McGee (Army) and O.T. Shields, Army.
The quilt distribution is designed to meet a need for veterans who are in need of added protection, particularly when having to undergo medical procedures at hospitals.