Marine Veteran Awarded Quilt of Valor

Many of the quilts to be given to veterans through the Quilts of Valor feature a star design, such as this red and blue star. (U.S. Army photo/ Kari Hawkins)
Many of the quilts to be given to veterans through the Quilts of Valor feature a star design, such as this red and blue star. (U.S. Army photo/ Kari Hawkins)

Kevin Miller knew little about the Quilt of Valor program that was created to help honor veterans until recently.

He learned people across the nation have been making quilts since 2007 to donate to military veterans for their service.

He also learned his mother in Idaho was among those who made the quilts.

Miller's mother decided to make his Quilt of Valor for his service from 1988 to 1992 in the Marine Corps, where he served during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

She was supposed to present her son with the quilt she made during a family reunion in Idaho in July, but a mix-up made the presentation impossible.

"She's been supportive of my decision to join the Marine Corps," he said. "It was devastating to her when she couldn't make the presentation."

Now, Miller will be officially presented his quilt during a ceremony conducted at 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Simons Island American Legion Post No. 166, where he serves as first vice commander.

Miller said he was disappointed when his mother was unable to present him the quilt in person. It was important for him because of the strong support his mother provided when he decided to enlist before he graduated high school.

Every handmade quilt donated to a veteran through the program is one of a kind, except for a patch on the back that has the veteran's name, branch of service and how long he or she served.

His mother, Kary Miller, said in a phone interview Monday it took five months to make the quilt by hand. She has had help on other quilts donated to veterans, but she wanted to make sure she was responsible for each piece of fabric and every stitch for her son's quilt.

"I thought it was appropriate," she said. "I took more time for my son. That one was on my own."

She started a community Yellow Ribbon and letter writing campaign to honor troops and help them through their deployments.

She is currently making a quilt for her stepbrother, who served in Vietnam. But she has made other quilts with no idea who would be the recipient.

"I've made a couple I've donated," she said. "It doesn't matter (who gets the quilt), as long as it goes to a veteran."

Miller, founding director of American Legion Riders of Southeast Georgia, said other than his brother, he doesn't know anyone else who has been given one of the quilts.

"I hope it starts a trend," he said of quilts donated to local veterans. "I hope it will be the first of many."

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