Terry Oxford of Bowling Green, Kentucky, knew he and his son, Jason, were driving to Murfreesboro Monday (June 11) for a special presentation at Middle Tennessee State University. Not long after arriving, Terry Oxford understood the full impact.
MTSU Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center officials presented Oxford, a Vietnam veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient, with a Quilt of Valor and walking stick for his heroism.
Presentation of Quilt and Honor (Audio):
The gift of a quilt is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts for their valor and sacrifice. "They are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts," said Jill Shaver of Murfreesboro, who collaborated on the quilt with Maggie Klenke of Lebanon, Tennessee.
A humble Oxford, who spent three years in the U.S. Army, lived outside Chicago, Illinois, for about 20 years and wound up in sales work with Citigroup Inc., told presenters, led by Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, he "did not know about these (quilts)."
"This is such a fantastic thing to do," Oxford, 75, said later, knowing the history behind the Quilts of Valor. "A lot of veterans -- especially Vietnam veterans -- got very little recognition. What they're doing here is admirable."
"And this gentleman (pointing to Huber) is a driver (for the center). The quilt's a great gift."
Earlier, during the quilt presentation, Shaver's husband, Keith, presented Oxford with a walking stick painted with ribbons for the two Purple Hearts, a Green Beret patch and ribbons for his Vietnam service.
Huber, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, also asked Oxford if he could present him a silver commemorative "Challenge Coin," which he accepted, and told the veteran, "I'm your action officer, willing and available to assist with any issue you have with the VA (Veterans Affairs)."
Huber gave the Oxfords an overview of the Daniels Center and the abundance of opportunities available to the combined 1,000 student veterans and family members. He told them about the $120,000 gift for the center from Charlie and Hazel Daniels' Journey Home Project.
Also attending the ceremony was Hilary Miller, director of the center that features 2,600 square feet on the first floor of the Keathley University Center and an additional 600 square feet on the third floor -- an area housing the Transitioning Home Office.
An MTSU alumnus, Jason Oxford is director of corporate development for the Nashville Predators. He and his family live in Hendersonville, Tennessee.