Pictured above from left to right are U.S.Army Veterans Roger Thrower, and Stephen Siggers
Story by Gator Kincaid
WEST POINT- Earlier this month, during the October Quilts of Valor Ceremony from Sewingmachine.com in West Point, two local Veterans received their quilts.
Those Veterans included the following:
Stephen Siggers. and Roger Thrower, who served in the United States Army. Both men served in Vietnam. Siggers, a Beulah native served from June 1969 to March 1972 and was a 67 U 20, which is a helicopter mechanic.
"I want to thank everybody who made this possible. Your time and effort mean a lot. I would also like to especially thank my wife who was with me when I joined and has been with me ever since. You just don't know how much your support means to this country. It makes the decision easier to make if you wanna join if you have support. I love this country, and God Bless the United States of America", said Siggers.
Roger Thrower, an Opelika native, who also served in Vietnam, served from 1968 to 1970 and was in Vietnam from March 1969 to April 1970, serving in the 11 Bravo Small Army Infantry.
"When I got to Vietnam it was a rude awakening when you wake up, your life is endangered, and you see people hurt, life lost. I got some good memories, and I have some bad ones, but the comradery with the members of my platoon will last a lifetime. I was proud to serve, and regardless of what we came back home to, our cause was good", said Thrower.
Both men saw more than they would have liked to see and were surrounded by family and friends as they received their Quilts of Valor.
"Quilts of Valor is a National Foundation of people who make quilts to cover service members and Veterans who have been touched by war in order to provide comfort, honor, and gratitude for their services and sacrifices.
In 2003, Catherine Roberts founded Quilts of Valor when her son was deployed to Iraq. Always feeling close to panicking over her son's deployment, one night she dreamed of a post-deployment warrior sitting on the side of his bed struggling with his war demons during the night.
As the dream continued she saw him sitting on the side of his bed wrapped in his quilt, and his whole demeanor changed to one of hope, and well-being.
From this vision Quilts of Valor Foundation began. Catherine awarded the first Quilts of Valor to Veterans at Walter Reed Hospital as a way to say that someone cared. It took her small group three years to make the first 100 Quilts of Valor", said Sheila Simpson with sewingmachine.com in her opening remarks from the ceremony.
In a special appreciation of gratitude to the heroes who served in Vietnam but did not receive the welcome back they deserved, Simpson presented Siggers and Thrower with special veterans' lapel pins for their dedicated service.
In May 2014, Quilts of Valor awarded the 100,000 quilt at Walter Reed Hospital where the first Quilts of Valor was awarded in 2003. As of today, Quilts of Valor was awarded 320,927 quilts to Veterans.