Quilts of Valor ceremony held Sunday in Watertown

WATERTOWN, S.D.(KXLG)- A few dozen people gathered at the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Watertown Sunday for a Quilts of Valor ceremony. Two Watertown U.S. Army veterans were presented with handmade quilts by Huron-based Quilts of Valor group members.

Alvin Amy and Daniel Schroeder received red, white, and blue quilts during the ceremony in recognition of their service.

Amy is an Army veteran who served from 1948 to 1952, the last two years in Korea. He was wounded twice and was back on the battlefield before being fully recovered from the first injury. He participated in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, a brutal 17-day battle in freezing weather from Nov. 27 to Dec. 13, 1950. He retired from the military as a corporal with two Purple Hearts.

Schroeder served in the Army from 1995 to 2004, including Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 in 2003. He was also stationed in Germany, Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Carson, Colo., and other places. He also received a Purple Heart.

Despite the ups and downs of military service, Schroeder told the crowd at the Watertown VFW that he would do it all over again.

Sandy Kissner of Quilts of Valor told KXLG News she was heartened to see so many people at Saturday’s presentation ceremony.

Quilts of Valor Foundation began in 2003 with a dream by the organization’s founder, Catherine Roberts, whose son Nat was deployed in Iraq. In her dream, a young man was sitting on the side of his bed in the middle of the night, hunched over in utter despair. Then, the young man was wrapped in a quilt, and his demeanor changed from despair to hope and well-being. The message of her dream was that quilts can bring healing and caring.

The first Quilt of Valor was presented in 2003 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to a young soldier from Minnesota who had lost a leg in Iraq. Since then, more than 380,000 Quilts of Valor have been awarded to active-duty and veterans in the U.S.

The Huron chapter of Quilts of Valor serves much of Eastern South Dakota.