Marcus White, resident of The Hearth at Pond Ridge, Masonicare’s Assisting Living community, was recently presented with a “Quilt of Valor” by the Quilts of Valor Foundation in recognition of his military service. Mr. White’s family, fellow residents and Masonicare staff were in attendance for the presentation.
The Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF) was established in 2003 by Catherine Roberts from her sewing room in Seaford, Delaware. Her son’s year-long deployment to Iraq provided the initial inspiration, and her desire to see that returning warriors were welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved, provided the rest. QOVF has since become a national grassroots community service effort that has awarded over 95,000 handmade quilts to wounded warriors and veterans, as a tangible reminder of America’s appreciation and gratitude.
Mr. White’s sister, Joyce Lucas, learned of the QOVF through the Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution, of which she is a member. She contacted the Foundation regarding her brother’s military service and arranged for the formal presentation to Mr. White at Pond Ridge.
Mr. White, age 92, served for over 13 years in the U.S. Navy as Quartermaster 1st Class during World War II and the Korean War, both in active duty and U.S. naval reserves. During his enlistment, he served on nine different submarines – one of which was the USS Scamp (SS 277) during World War II. Fate intervened, however, as Mr. White was reassigned to another submarine just weeks before the Scamp and its crew were lost during an enemy attack on November 11, 1944, south of TokyoBay.
After his discharge from the Navy, Mr. White attended Syracuse University and earned a Master’s Degree in Science Education, and a Sixth-Year Diploma in Professional Education from the University of Connecticut. He was a science teacher in the Fairfield school system for many years.
Jane Dougherty, Connecticut Co-Coordinator for QOVF, presented the quilt to Mr. White on behalf of the Foundation. She hand-selected the quilt for Mr. White and said. “I could only imagine that he was surrounded by a very grey environment during his many years on submarines and deprived of colors. And that’s why I felt that this quilt with its warm yellows and rich blues and greens was just perfect for him.”
Several members of Mr. White’s family were on hand and came from as far away as Vermont to witness this honor. As four generations of his family held the quilt alongside him, it was blessed by Pastor Jonathan Holst of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Hamden.
Mr. White, proudly dressed in a worn Navy cap and vest adorned with colorful medals, seemed almost surprised by all the attention given him. When his daughter Barbara Hanscom was asked to comment on her father’s service to his country, she quoted Thomas Jefferson: “Patriotism is not a short frenzied burst of emotion but the long and steady dedication of a lifetime.” “That,” she said “is my dad’s life in a nutshell.”
Mr. White also extended his loyalty and dedication to his fellow veterans. For over 20 years, he volunteered several times each week at the Veteran’s Hospital in West Haven.
After the presentation, while Mr. White and his guests enjoyed refreshments, his colorful quilt lay over his lap – providing not only some comfort on a cold winter day but also a heartfelt symbol of gratitude for a lifetime of service, sacrifice and valor.