WATE 6 On Your Side Heroes

Jefferson City Quilters present Quilt of Valor to Vietnam vet, volunteer

WATE 6 On Your Side Heroes

BEAN STATION, Tenn. (WATE) — He served our country in the Vietnam War and went on to help his community through the years, never seeking the limelight, but Wayne Myers recently found himself front and center, presented with a Quilt of Valor.

We were there as this humble hero received long overdue recognition.

Dozens gathered last week to capture the moment. Myers dedicated four years of his life to service in Vietnam. He was in the Air Force.

Like all veterans back then, he came home to protests, not parades.

This moment to say thank you has special significance for the recipient and the woman who leads Jefferson City Quilters.

“I’m a Vietnam-era veteran,” quilters leader Kathleen Van Orsdel told us, “and I know firsthand what it was like for the guys coming back, and I’ve made it my mission to do whatever I can to change that.”

“He just always dedicates his time and energy to so many different things to keep our county going so it’s great to see a little bit of that come back in a different way,” Myers’ daughter, Michelle Myers-Peak says.

“I feel undeserved, but I appreciate it.”

Wayne Myers, Vietnam War veteran

Myers has been in real estate for 35 years, a lifetime member of AMVETS and quietly volunteers at Veterans Hospital in Johnson City.

His quilt, like all Quilts of Valor, started off with one person.

“A quilt is made by an individual sewer who finds a pattern and decides that she’s going to make it for an unknown veteran,” Van Orsdel says.

Then, with teamwork, the final version of the quilt if put together. Jefferson City Quilters alone created 254 quilts last year. This year, due to COVID, there will be fewer.

But the spirit behind this effort remains strong.

“This quilt says ‘thank you,’ ” Van Orsdel said. “This quilt says I appreciate what you did.”

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