HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Six area World War II veterans who served in the Merchant Marines were honored for their service during a ceremony on Friday.
The event took place at the Veterans' Café in Myrtle Beach. The men were each given the Quilt of Valor, which is in recognition of service to their country.
"We think it's a comforting and healing quilt, and if they have PTSD, we tell them, 'Put it around your shoulders, put it over your lap and see if you feel comforted,'" said Joan Wobbleton, regional coordinator for Quilts of Valor.
The three-layer quilts take six to eight months to make. Wobbleton said a label on the back has the recipient's name and the date of the award.
Ralph "Coleman" Ashby, 103, was one of the six honored with a quilt on Friday. Originally from Massachusetts, he served on not one, but six ships during his time as a Merchant Marine.
"I had heard there were an awful lot of men needed for the Merchant Marines, so it was more sooner just a whim that I chose the Merchant Marines over the Army, and it just worked out like that," Ashby said.
He added that receiving the quilt was even more special when thinking about all the work that went into making it.
"I commend the ladies who made the quilt," Ashby said.
Wobbleton said she has seen tears coming out of veterans' eyes when they receive their quilt.
"It's important for us to make sure that when you sign on the line to serve our country, that you know that we appreciate what they do," she said.
Tune into WMBF News at 11 for a full report.