West Milford veterans recognized with Quilts of Valor

WEST MILFORD. The Quilts of Valor Foundation bestowed honors to Joseph Zaccaro and John McClellan.

| 17 Aug 2022 | 12:05

The Quilts of Valor Foundation recently honored two local West Milford military veterans with Quilts of Valor for their service to the country. On Sunday, July 31, in a quiet ceremony hosted by quilt maker Debbie Van Brunt, neighbors, family and friends gathered to pay homage to Joseph Zaccaro and John McClellan, who both live in the Birch Hills section of town.

Zaccaro was given a Quilt of Valor made and quilted by Van Brunt. Zaccaro served in the U.S. Navy from July 1962 to August 1966 during the Vietnam War aboard the USS Yorktown.

McClellan’s Quilt of Valor was made by Patty Brinster and quilted by Laura Layman. McClellan served in the U.S. Amy from 1953 to 1957 during the Korean War in Fort Benning, Georgia, Fort Gordon, Georgia, and in Germany.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation was started in 2003 by Catherine Roberts while her son was deployed in Iraq. Her desire to see that returning warriors were welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved gave her the idea to link quilt toppers with machine quilters. This started a grassroots movement of volunteers helping each other say, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor.” The foundation has awarded 315,804 quilts since 2003 and this local group has made 279 since August 2011.

The Sussex County Quilters Quilts of Valor, in association with the Warwick Valley Quilters’ Guild, has awarded quilts to service men and women all over the country, including those serving in Afghanistan, Washington, DC, and many in veteran’s hospitals. This project is possible through the donations of fabric, the hours of work, and the enthusiasm of members of the Warwick Guild.

During the ceremony, a Quilt of Valor representative said to the honorees, “On behalf of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, we award this quilt to honor and comfort you. Though we may never know the depth of your sacrifice to protect and defend the United States of America, as a gesture of gratitude from a grateful nation, please accept your Quilt of Valor.”