Veterans Day is an opportunity for civilians to pay their respects to people who have served the country.
About 100 people gathered at the First United Methodist Church in Killeen’s Fellowship Hall on Sunday afternoon to watch four veterans rewarded for their service with quilts, hand-made by volunteers with the Quilts of Valor organization.
“It means a lot,” said Lauren Moffatt, an Army veteran and quilt recipient.
Moffat served as a medic for the 1st Cavalry Division in Afghanistan. She was in the Army for 10 years and was one of the last soldiers to leave Iraq.
After standing for a group photo with fellow veterans Mike Pinson and Elaine and Stan Passman, Moffatt was emotional.
“It’s a humbling experience, to stand there with veterans like Mike, Elaine and Stan,” she said.
Pinson, a Vietnam veteran, was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, 18th Airborne Corps, 101st Airborne and the 2nd Armored Division; Elaine Passman was a battalion clerk in the U.S. Marine Corps for a two-year enlistment; and Vietnam veteran Stan Passman was in the 101st Airborne Division.
The Passmans, who will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year, met at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where Stan Passman was stationed at the time. Elaine Passman had already left the Corps and she wears a Semper Fi jacket and hat proudly.
Stan Passman’s quilt was adorned with eagles, which was significant.
“I was with the Airborne, I was a Screaming Eagle, so to get a quilt with an eagle on it means a lot to me,” he said.
Elaine Passman said she suspected her husband would get a quilt, but she was surprised to get one also.
“It helps us remember that people are willing to serve others, and that’s what it’s all about,” she said.
Volunteers spend hours working on their quilts.
“Each quilt has a special label on the back with the recipient’s name and the name of the volunteer who made it,” said Laura Winckel, founder of the Fort Hood-area Quilts of Valor organization.
Quilts of Valor is a national organization, and Winckel founded Fort Hood’s chapter in 2013.
“I consider it an honor and a duty,” she said. “It’s been a real blessing.”