Two residents of Calverton Meadows were presented with quilts Friday commemorating their military service.
Jerome Shaw, a World War II veteran, and Adrian Mulder, a Korean War veteran, where given the quilts through the Quilts of Valor Foundation, which was founded in 2003 and has awarded nearly 300,000 quilts to veterans and service members worldwide.
The foundation awards handmade quilts to veterans and its mission is to “cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”
The Calverton Meadows community has many veterans but wanted to give the first two quilts to its most senior veterans, according to community manager Lynn Lombardo, who made the quilts along with other Calverton Meadows residents. Linda Bealey, Barbara Layden, Karen Osman, Grace Swift and Beryl Sylvester all volunteered their time.
“Our honorees were chosen based on their service in the armed forces and seniority in our community,” Ms. Lombardo said.
Members of the Patriot Guard also were in attendance.
Mr. Mulder turned 90 on Saturday and Mr. Shaw is 96. They were also presented with letters of recognition from state Senator Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) and Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Baiting Hollow), who were in attendance, and a proclamation from members of the Riverhead Town Board.
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) also sent a proclamation of Congressional Recognition.
“It’s a rare occasion when you stop and reflect on how free our country is,” Ms. Giglio told the two men. “You fought for those freedoms and you fought for us to be able to say what we want to say when we want to say it.”
“I’d like to thank everyone associated with the Quilts of Valor for putting this event together today,” Mr. Shaw said, fighting off tears. “It’s greatly appreciated.”
He said every stitch of the quilts is put in “with the thought of someone they remembered.”
Mr. Palumbo said Mr. Shaw received several medals of distinction, including an American Theater medal, a Victory Medal, a combat action medal and others.
Mr. Mulder served in the 101st Army Airborne unit, and received the National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct medal.
The event also doubled as a birthday party for Mr. Mulder, whose birthday was the following day.