Veteran Charles Hawkins is a recipient at the annual Quilts of Valor celebration held on Nov. 9 in Columbia, MO.

On November 9, a local veteran was honored at the tenth annual Mid-Missouri Quilts of Valor Veteran’s Day Celebration. Charles Hawkins, of Shelbina, was nominated to be a recipient at the annual celebration and was one of 18 recipients honored. Each year the organization covers combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

Hawkins served in the U.S. Air Force from 1967 to 1971 with a tour in Vietnam. He worked on weapons systems of aircraft, loaded whatever kind of weapon that went on the F4 aircraft. He shared with those attending he learned what the rockets’ red glare meant, stating, “During my third day in combat, I was blown out of bed and had shrapnel stuck into my headboard.” Hawkins explained the importance of receiving this quilt, sharing, “I have participated in the Honor Flight, which I enjoyed and thought was great, but this quilt is personal.”

Mid-Missouri Quilts of Valor meet the first Tuesday of every month at Satin Stitches and Embroidery in Columbia. The sewing days are open to everyone at any sewing or quilting level and for the length of time them can volunteer. The organization is also a mentor site for the University of Missouri Service Learning Students. The group started in 2009 and is made up of volunteers. Each quilt is pieced and quilted locally with every effort made to make the presentation a very personal event for the Veteran and his or her family. To date, Mid-Missouri Quilts of Valor has awarded hundreds of quilts to veterans and has participated in National efforts as well.

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