CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Lancaster man, who had one of the riskiest jobs in the U.S. Army, has been awarded the Quilt of Valor.
It is a symbol of comfort and healing.
Billy Boyette Sr. received the special recognition after fighting in the Korean War as a demolition expert.
The 90-year-old veteran from Charlotte, who now lives in Lancaster, South Carolina, served in the U.S. Army for 21 years before retiring as a master sergeant.
Volunteers said they made the quilt for Boyette to serve as a symbol of comfort and healing as well as a gesture of gratitude for his service.
Boyette's family attended the ceremony and surrounded him as the Quilt of Valor was presented and wrapped around him.
"He deserves it," daughter Diane Boyette said.
"We're so proud of him," sister Carolyn Lewis said.
The Quilt of Valor can be kept in a bag that looks like a flag. It was never a flag that flew due to a damaged star or being cut too small, but rather than it being thrown away, it was turned into a way to store the handmade quilt.
Since 2003, the nationwide nonprofit Quilt of Valor Foundation has awarded more than 212,000 quilts to veterans affected by war.
"As the veteran receives the award, we the presenter receive the reward," Harvey Mayhill from the Quilts of Valor Foundation said. "We have a lot of emotion inside of us."
South Carolina leads the nation with the number of quilts awarded.
Last year, more than 3,100 quilts were awarded to veterans in South Carolina alone.
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