The Veteran Spotlight series is brought to you by Ken Bruce, Attorney at Law.
Vietnam Veteran Jim Reece will be honored at a Quilt of Valor Ceremony scheduled for August 29th at the Chattooga County Fair. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 3:45 pm at the Exhibit building.
Sgt. E5 James Reece served from in Vietnam from 1968-1969. He received his basic training at Ft Benning, Ga. and Artillery training at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma,
He was deployed to Vietnam with the 4th Infantry Division. For his service to the United States Army he was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Defense Medal, Overseas Medal w/ 2 O.S. Bars. Army Accommodation Medal, and many Ribbons and citations for his service to our country.
Jim Reece, as Chattooga County folks know him, graduated from Chattooga High School in 1967, the next year he was fighting in the jungles of Vietnam some 9,000 miles away from home.
After Vietnam, Jim worked at the Georgia Rug Mill. Later he went to Walker Tech and received a degree in Heating and Air through the GI bill. Then he worked at Reichhold Chemicals for 14 years.
After that he began his job at the U.S Postal Service where he was employed for 24 years. He retired from the Postal Service in 2012 at the age of 63.
What is a Quilt of Valor?
A Quilt of Valor® (QOV) is a quality, handmade quilt that hand quilted. It is awarded to a Service Member or Veteran who has been touched by war. The Quilt says unequivocally, “Thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our nation.”
To use the term Quilt of Valor, Quilts of Valor or QOV, the quilt must be a specific size, must have a label with required information, it must be awarded (it is not a gift) and it must be recorded.
The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a group of thousands of volunteer quilters from all across America. The Quilts of Valor Foundation was started in 2003 by Catherine Roberts, the mother of a soldier who was serving in Afghanistan. Their mission is to honor service members and veterans who have been touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.
The top of the quilt is made of many pieces of various designs, fabrics, sizes and shapes. Their variety represents the community that we are: we are all different, but we come together to make a unique togetherness. Each stitch that holds the tops together represent the love, gratitude, and prayers as the quilters design, cut, and stitch the pieces together.
The batting is the center of the quilt–its warmth.
The backing is the strength. It holds the many pieces of the quilt together. It represents the strength of the recipient, his or her family, our communities and our nation.
Quilting is actually the term of stitching the three layers together and making it a usable gift of love.
A Quilt of Valor is “priceless”. It can never be bought, it can never be sold, it is never a birthday or Christmas gift. It is an award as a thank you for your service and sacrifice. It comes from the heart and hands of the makers and their community. The organization feels this is the highest award a civilian can give a service man or woman.
Each quilt brings a three-part message. First, it honors the veteran for their service. Next, it honors the veteran for leaving all they hold dear and to stand in harm’s way in a time of crisis, protecting us from the effects of war. The quilters know that freedom is not free. The cost of our freedom is the dedication of lives of men and women, and the quilt is meant to say “Thank You for your sacrifice”. And finally, the quilt is meant to offer comfort to the veteran, and to remind them that they are forever in all of our thoughts and our hearts, the quilt is a way to say the veteran is appreciated and remembered.
For those of us who have never seen combat or been in a war zone, such experiences are beyond our capacity to comprehend.