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Heroes honored with quilts
Quilts of Valor.jpg

Since its inception in 2003, the Quilts of Valor Foundation has awarded over 200,000 quilts to veterans in all 50 states. 

The Quilts of Valor Foundation added 10 more to its list of recipients on May 1. A presentation ceremony was held at Gath Baptist Church on Smithville Highway.

Guild member and program director Lyn Stinnett presented quilts to Ronald E. Stewart, Robert C. Russell, Bill Davis, Jimmy Cook, Edward Franklin McCuller Jr., Edward Franklin McCuller Sr., Dick Stepien, Stanley H. Fults, Raymond Rigsby and Dirk Wright.

The elder McCuller was a surprise addition. He was added to the list out of a son’s desire to honor his father. 

“My dad was with me,” said McCuller Jr. “He served in the United States Air Force, from 1959 to 1982. He retired after 23 years. He’s much more deserving of a quilt than I am. I gave him mine.” 

Only nine quilts were available, but Stinnett promised to send a replacement.

McCuller Jr. served six years in the United States Navy, from 1987 through 1993. He served aboard the Benjamin Franklin Class Submarine, USS Mariana G. Vallejo SSBN658. While aboard, he served as a Fire Control Technician Ballistic.

Ronald E. Stewart served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1983. He was stationed in the states of Arizona, Texas, Kansas, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida and Illinois, and overseas in Thailand and South Korea. Stewart retired with the office of 7-Sgt. He received a Presidential Medal. 

SP4 Robert C. Russell served from 1963 to 1965. Company B 3rd Infinity Division. Werthein, Germany. 

James “Jimmy” Cook served in the U.S. Army from 1965 through 1967. He was in the 13th Combat Aviation Battalion Melsong Delta.

Richard “Dick” Stepien served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1968. He served on two different destroyers as radar man second class, and served one tour in Vietnam in 1966 on the USS Beale DD471. 

Raymond Rigsby served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1969. Spec. 5 (ES). 

Bill Davis served in the U.S. Army from 1953 through 1955.

Stanley H. Fults served in the U.S. Army from October 1962 through October 1968. 

Dirk Wright served in the U.S. Army for 22 years, which included serving in Vietnam.