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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Apr 13, 2017

Vietnam Veteran Receives Quilt of Honor

Vietnam War veteran Mark Abair was the second resident at Wedgwood Gardens Care Center to receive a Quilt for Valor from the Quilts of Valor Foundation, Rebecca’s Reel Quilters, and the South Shore Quilters this year, with the recent presentation made at a gala ceremony at the Route 9 rehabilitation and long-term care facility. Known among his friends at the care center as the “guy who tells all the jokes,” Mr. Abair is also proud to remind others of his military career as a US Marine. April Dore, his sister and one of the 11 Abair siblings raised in Highlands, came from her home in Mechanicsville, VA to be among the crowd celebrating the presentation to her brother.

Rebecca’s Reel is a Middletown-based women’s volunteer organization that makes quilts and donates them to veterans from all wars, a gesture indicating they are never forgotten and will always be surrounded with warmth and security. Mr. Abair’s quilt was made in Middletown and quilted by another volunteer in Maryland. The group was formed by Catherine Roberts in 2003 in honor of her son who came home from Vietnam, but who reminded her of so many military who came home injured, or did not make it back home, from any war. To date, more than 152,000 quilts have been presented to veterans across the country.

In making the presentation, Anne Carriero of Middletown thanked Mr. Abair for his service and told him, “You stepped up for us and no one can fully understand the sacrifices you have made.” Ms. Carriero, also a member of Rebecca’s Reel, led the ceremony and explained that the deep and lighter tans of brown were used in the quilt to represent the strength and bravery of Mr. Abair and others like him.

After accepting the quilt, Mr. Abair led the group in a salute to the flag and the National Anthem. Refreshments were served to residents and guests.