Veteran receives 'Quilt of Valor'

Morris Crocker, surrounded by his family and Quilts of Valor representative Helen Rhodes, accepts the quilt.
Morris Crocker, surrounded by his family and Quilts of Valor representative Helen Rhodes, accepts the quilt.

From News 11's media partner, The Bryan Times

Morris Crocker of West Unity isn't sure how or why he was selected to receive a Quilt of Valor.

But he's definitely honored that he was.

"I don't know how I got selected, really," he explained. "I just got a letter stating that 'You are cordially invited to be presented with a Quilt of Valor'."

He received his quilt Sept. 17, during a ceremony at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind.

During his 20-year tenure in the U.S. armed forces, Crocker served in Operation Desert Storm, and later in Iraq.

"It's a very great honor," Crocker said of his selection to receive a quilt. "I think they said only 90 have been made so far. It's great that people still care, that they care about the men and women who are fighting for their freedom."

Crocker plans to display his quilt in a prominent place in his home, and he's currently eyeing a spot near a bookcase in his living room.

Quilts of Valor are sewn by volunteers, to be presented to combat-wounded or impaired service members. Casualties from the war on terror are to be considered first and foremost.

According to information provided by the program, Quilts of Valor recipients are located through military chaplains at bases and VA medical centers in the United States and around the world.

Crocker, who lives in West Unity, has suffered medical problems since his overseas service.

A 1985 graduate of Bryan High School, Crocker joined the U.S. Army in June 1985 and was on active duty for 10 years, attaining the rank of sergeant.

He served in Germany twice, and for six months in 1991 he served in Operation Desert Storm with the 15th ASB unit.

For 10 years, he served with the U.S. Army Reserves, with the 656 TC Company Transport Unit, including six months of service in Iraq during 2003.

His military career concluded with a medical discharge from the Army Reserves.

Crocker, an employee of Air-Way Manufacturing of Edgerton, is married to Tamara, and has four children, Bryant, Sean, Renee and Kiersten. He is the son of Janice and Webb Crocker of Bryan.

His Quilt of Valor was sewn by the New Haven, Ind., United Methodist Church, as part of its quilting ministry.

According to information from the church, Crocker's quilt was begun in January 2008 by cutting the pieces and machine stitching them together to form Ohio Star block patterns, in patriotic colors. The blocks then were connected and borders attached.

"With God's grace," states a message from the church to Crocker, "this quilt will keep you wrapped in comforting thoughts that there are many people who care. You are not forgotten."

In addition to recognizing wounded veterans, a second stated mission of Quilts of Valor is to teach sewing skills and civic involvement to children.

Quilts of Valor was founded in 2003 by Catherine Roberts of Seaford, Del., after she learned her son was being deployed to Iraq.