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Photos courtesy of Bridget Russo. Back row from left is Robert Bernal, Richard Prenovost, Dennis Clark, George Espindla, David Dimas, John Portillo and front row from left is Theresa Ann Bender, Cheryl Voirin, Becca Bernal.

On the morning of November 8, 2014, the gentle breeze swayed as 50 family, friends, and strangers gathered together to honor veterans of war. This was the first award ceremony of the Quilts of Valor Foundation group Heart 2 Heart Quilts, based in Heber Overgaard. As the gathering stood together as one to say the Pledge of Allegiance, the American flag began to wave in the breeze. The invited guests heard the story of Catherine Roberts who in 2003 had a dream that inspired a Quilt of Valor. The Quilts of Valor Foundation mission is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

A Quilt of Valor is to symbolize honor for the service each
veteran performed standing in harm’s way in a time of crisis while protecting us from the effects of war; to acknowledge that freedom is not free and to thank each one for their sacrifice. The quilt is meant to offer comfort to the recipients, help with healing from what each veteran witnessed in war to keep us a nation of freedom, and remind them that we are grateful for their service.
Each of the five veterans being awarded a Quilt of Valor were in turn saluted, hugged with their Quilt of Valor, presented with a hat, certificate, and quilt case; and thanked for their service. The first quilt was given to Richard Prenovost who served in the Korean War. It has been 57 years since Richard had been in war and he said this was the first time he’s been told thank you for his service. David Dimas was awarded the second quilt. He served two tours in the army in Vietnam. The third soldier honored was Dennis Clark. He was a medic and served in the army in Vietnam. Next, George Espindola served as a marine in Vietnam. The last soldier to be honored was John Portillo, who was in the navy and served five tours of duty in the Persian Gulf.
quiltsMany thanks to all of the men and women who have sacrificed and served in the armed forces to keep our nation free. The ceremony was held at Bob and Becca Bernal’s home in Overgaard. Please contact Cheryl Voirin at 480-229-1486, Becca Bernal at 602-620-3303 , or Theresa Bender at 602-571-2028, if you are a quilter and would like to join us and the Quilts of Valor Foundation or if you would like to make a tax free donation to the Quilts of Valor Foundation – Heart 2 Heart Quilts group.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a 501(C)(3) not for profit foundation. More information may be found at http://www.qovf.org.

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Barbara Samples was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and has called Heber-Overgaard home since 2008. She is married to Larry Samples, who is co-owner with her in L & B, Inc., owner of the Mogollon Rim News. They have four (grown) children and two grandchildren. Barbara serves as the Editor.