The Transylvania Times -

Two More Local Veterans Receive Quilts Of Valor

 

Last updated 8/31/2020 at 4:12pm

A special ceremony was held Aug. 26 to honor Foster Ray (third from left) and David Morrow (fifth from left) with Quilts of Valor. (Courtesy photo)

Even though the Veterans Military History Museum is closed due to the pandemic, their mission of honoring veterans and education is still in the forefront. A daily newsletter is created and emailed that focuses on a veteran's history and experience in the military.

The third Quilts of Valor ceremony, in coordination with the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Quilts of Valor, occurred this month. Quilt of Valor is a national organization whose members produce hand-made patriotic quilts to honor veterans throughout the United States, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Together, these two organizations honored two very special veterans who selflessly served the country. The event was attended by immediate family, museum board members and pathfinders.

On Aug. 26, David Morrow and Foster Ray were recipients of a Quilt of Valor at the Courthouse Gazebo.

Morrow is a U.S. Navy veteran who served in 1969-70 on a Construction Battalion team of 13 men known as Seabees. They helped rural South Vietnamese populations through training, technical assistance and construction.

Morrow's specialties were surveying, drafting and soil analysis. In the Bien Hoa Province, about 60 miles south of Saigon, his team constructed roads, school buildings, government offices, warehouses, a hospital recovery room and housing units. Their mission was to "win hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people."

Morrow's Quilt of Valor was made by Navy Veteran Judy Thurman and Jeani McGrath. It was quilted by Susan Caldwell. His wife, Kathy, wrapped him in the quilt. Morrow stated before the ceremony that he was, "grateful for all the men and women in Vietnam who keep the Seabees safe. It took the whole country for them to succeed."

Ray is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard serving from 1949-1953 and 1954-1970.

He served in The Korean Conflict years of 1950-55 and the Vietnam War, 1961-1975.

He served two tours in Germany, in the Company K 26 Infantry Regiment First Division in Bamburg and Asaffensburg. Serving one tour in Korea, he was in charge of security for the largest and Main PX in Seoul, Korea.

During his first tour in Vietnam he was injured in a Viet Cong hand grenade attack and also shot inside a mess hall at midnight. He received the Purple Heart award.

He and his unit took out several dozen Viet Cong that night.

He was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Saigon and remembers looking down and seeing the Viet Cong dragging their dead comrades by ropes back along the trail.

He served a second tour in Vietnam for one year and retired with the rank of E8 from the U.S. Army in 1970.

He was discharged as a master sergeant. Ray received a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars. Ray was very quiet and humbled by the occasion.

"I really appreciate everything," Ray said.

Ray's Quilt of Valor was pieced, quilted and bound by Jeani Mcgrath. His brother-in-law, Harold Wellington, another Quilt of Valor recipient, wrapped him in the quilt.

For more information about Quilts of Valor or to nominate a veteran to receive a quilt, visit http://www.qovf.org.

The Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas is located at 21 E. Main St. in Brevard (beside the courthouse). Admission is free. Currently, the museum is closed as guidelines from the governor of North Carolina are being followed.

When the museum is able to open again, social distancing and precautions are in place.

Visit http://www.theveteransmuseum.org to keep updated on reopening and learn more about the museum.

 
 

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