By Sarah Richardson
The Alderson Quilting Guild held a surprise ceremony at the Greenbrier Valley Visitor’s Center for local veteran Jackson “Jack” Sizemore earlier today. Guild member Nan Shetterly was proud to present him with a Quilt of Valor, which was made by Guild members over the past few months.
“It was a total surprise, I had no inkling that this was happening,” said Sizemore. Numerous family members and friends attended the event to surprise him, all while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
“I am very grateful to the Alderson Quilting Guild, and I appreciate everyone who came here today,” he said. “I am honored.”
The Quilt of Valor Foundation began in 2003 after Founder Catherine Roberts’ son Nate was deployed to Iraq. Roberts was determined to “cover all those service members and veterans who served or were wounded physically or psychologically with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”
The first quilt was presented in 2003, and as of May first of this year over 250,000 quilts have been distributed and recorded through the program.
Sizemore enlisted in the Air Force on November 29, 1973, and attended basic and technical training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonia, TX. He specialized in law enforcement, and was chosen from a pool over nearly 60,000 recruits to be part of the Presidential Honor Guard. Three days before the completion of his training, he broke his knee in an accident.
After healing, he went on to work law enforcement at Bowling Air Force Base in Washington, DC for 13 months. The remainder of his service was spent working in law enforcement and security as the Sector 6 Supervisor of Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant E4 on March 27, 1973.
He resides in Lewisburg and has been married to his wife, Camilla, for 47 years. He has worked at the Greenbrier Valley Visitor’s Center for the last three years.
The Alderson Quilting Guild was founded in 1992, and currently has around 25 members. The group holds a raffle each year to support the Alderson Community Center, and presents their quilts at the Visitor’s Center each March and November.