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Quilt honors military service

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SCOTT HENLINE is awarded a quilt by Jennifer Wilson of Quilts of Valor June 18 in his Avondale home. Quilts of Valor honors veterans and others touched by war with handmade patriotic quilts. To see all photos from this shoot, go to www.westvalleyview.com/pictures. View photo by Ray Thomas
SCOTT HENLINE is awarded a quilt by Jennifer Wilson of Quilts of Valor June 18 in his Avondale home. Quilts of Valor honors veterans and others touched by war with handmade patriotic quilts. To see all photos from this shoot, go to www.westvalleyview.com/pictures. View photo by Ray Thomas

Avondale man recognized by Quilts of Valor

Scott Henline never earned a medal when he was in the Navy, but his time in the service 70 years ago has been recognized in another way.

The 91-year-old Avondale great-grandfather, who is a World War II-era veteran, recently received a quilt as an honor for serving in the military.

The presentation of the quilt on June 18 was made by Quilts of Valor, a national program that recognizes veterans and others touched by war with the gift of a homemade quilt.

More than 159,000 quilts representing the comforts of home and well-being have been given away by Quilts of Valor, according to Jennifer Wilson of Tucson, who coordinates the program in Arizona.

They’re awarded in recognition of what that person has done,” Wilson said. “To be awarded [a quilt] is a very special thing.”

Wilson presented about 20 quilts around the state during the month of May, including four to recipients in Buckeye and another in Avondale.

Wilson said the quilt presentations are often emotional.

You know you’ve touched a heart,” she said. “Sometimes, you just see it in their eyes. Sometimes, there are tears. Some people just beam.”

She said people can nominate loved ones to receive quilts, which are made by quilters who donate the material and their time.

Henline’s daughter, Starline, who works with Quilts of Valor in Colorado, nominated her father for the honor.

Henline volunteered for the military, joining the Navy at age 18 in 1944, three days after graduating from high school in Trinidad, Colo.

Henline served most of the two years he was in the Navy at the Chesapeake Bay Naval Base in Virginia, where he was assigned to a landing ship and went through amphibious forces training.

He stayed stateside when the war ended two weeks before his ship had been assigned to go to Pearl Harbor in 1945, Henline said.

The war had been shortened by the atomic bomb,” he said.

While his ship had training in Cuba, Puerto Rico and on the Great Lakes, Henline said the closest he got to any danger during his military service was when there was a mishap during a mortar exercise aboard the ship.

I was extremely fortunate that I wasn’t in any war zone,” Henline said.

Henline went on to become a pharmacist in Albuquerque, N.M., and moved to Avondale with his wife, Gwynn, in 1988.

Quilts of Valor was established in 2003 by Catherine Roberts of Delaware, whose son was deployed in Iraq, as an honor for those who were wounded during service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Roberts saw the quilts as means of thanking veterans with something that she considered to be a civilian equivalent to the Purple Heart award.

Over the years, the organization expanded its mission by awarding quilts to veterans from any era as well as civilians touched by war.

Wilson said the quilts have a patriotic theme, often pieced together with red, white and blue fabric.

She said more than 170 quilters in Arizona donate quilts to the stock that she draws from to make the presentations.

Wilson, a Vietnam veteran who served as an Army surgical nurse, said she got involved with the organization after she was presented one of the quilts in 2014.

It’s something I treasure,” she said.

For information about Quilts of Valor, visit www.qovf.org.

 

Glenn Gullickson can be reached at ggullickson@westvalleyview.com.

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