Morrilton High School honors veterans

Story and photos
by Janna Virden

It is a tradition at Morrilton High School to honor and recognize local veterans and their families each Veterans Day with a patriotic assembly and lunch. At this year’s ceremony, 20 local veterans also received a quilt made by the local Quilts of Valor chapter.

This year’s speaker was Steve Casteel, retired from the U.S. Army, who spoke to students about his life in the military and surviving a helicopter crash in 1988 in which he was severely burned. He spoke about his struggle to overcome his physical hardships and spoke to students about how they can be successful. Casteel said each student had the opportunity to do something great. “Someone is always watching you. It might be a little brother or sister, and your actions will determine what their actions will be.”  

Casteel urged students to use their opportunities. He ended with recognizing that each veteran in the audience had also done something great. He, along with the students, gave the veterans present a standing ovation.  

Catherine Pruitt with the local Quilts of Valor chapter told students that the chapter had made and given away more than 100 quilts since the chapter started in 2012. She said the quilts are a way to say, “Thank you for your service.”

At the ceremony, 20 more quilts were presented to veterans with the name, rank and war/conflict in which the veteran had served embroidered in the corner of the quilt. Each quilt is handmade by a Quilts of Valor volunteer.  

Veterans who received quilts at the 2013 MHS Veterans Day Ceremony:

World War II
Harold Williams, Navy, 1944-46
W.J.  Driver, Marines, 1940-65
Joe A. Wright, Navy, 1943-46
Lawrence Carothers, Navy, 1944-46, ’50-52 (Korea)

R.C. Freeman, Army, 1953-54
William C. Plummer, Navy, 1952-56
Charles Ormond, Air Force, 1954-58
Alvin C. Garrett, Army, 1951-52
Bill Sutton, Army, 1951-53

David Ellis, Air Force, 1954-76
Billy Sanders, Navy, 1963-83
Victor Trevino, Army, 1965-67
David Huett, Air Force, 1963-67
Billy Collins, Army, 1966-69
Walter Hervey, Marines, 1965-67
Lester Allen, Army, 1965-85
Robert W. Taylor, Navy, 1966-68

Iraq – Desert Storm
Rusty Newson, Army, 2005-12
Robert Hammons, Air Force, 1982-present
Rocky Hammons, Army, 1988-2012