Thousands of veterans honored with Quilts of Valor for their sacrifices

Updated: Nov. 11, 2019 at 5:38 AM EST
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SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Freedom doesn’t come free. This is a saying that all 19 men who were honored Sunday night know all too well.

Quilts of Valor were given to over a dozen veterans in hopes of honoring the sacrifices each soldier made while providing a sense of healing and comfort.

Each name was called and each veteran approached the front of Surfside Methodist Church where they would be wrapped in a Quilt of Valor.

“Every one of these is unique to the person who is receiving it, and sometimes there are things that are unique to their branch of service,” said Scarlet Hestor, the Surfside Methodist Church pastor.

Each quilt tells a different story, just like each veteran.

“One highlight of my career was being on the ship that escorted the USS Nautilus under the ice caps. That was a joy for me. I’ve seen the world when they say 'join the Navy and see the world.’ You see the world,” said George Frees.

Frees served in the Navy at a time when the United States was fighting in the Vietnam War, a war that claimed the lives of more than 58,000 soldiers.

“I wear this Quilt of Valor in remembrance of those that didn’t come back," said Frees.

Frees is one of more than 3,000 veterans in the Grand Strand to receive a quilt made by the Myrtle Beach Shore Birds.

Nationally, more than 230,000 Quilts of Valor have been given to men and women since 2003 through the non-profit organization.

Joan Wobbelton and her husband oversee the Grand Strand chapter of the organization. Her husband served 20 years in the Air Force during the Vietnam war.

Much like Frees, Wobbelton believes the soldiers of that time did not receive the recognition they deserved.

“They came back to rocks being thrown at them and being spit on and were being treated as if they had done something wrong, when in fact they were doing what they were told to do. Our mission is to cover all veterans but in particular, to let the veterans know who served in the Vietnam-era know that they are welcomed home,” said Wobbelton.

So Sunday night, a sea of red, white and blue could be seen honoring the price and sacrifice these and hundreds of thousands more soldiers paid.

There are more than 500 more veterans signed up hoping they can to receive a Quilt of Valor. To see how you can help, click here.

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