TIPP CITY — In recognition of their service to the nation, Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County Veteran volunteers Penny Adams and Peg Morelli were recently honored with Quilts of Valor.
These Quilts of Valor are handmade quilts that are awarded to a service member or Veteran who has been touched by war.
A local quilters guild makes quilts as a “thank you” from the nation in the form of a warm blanket. On Nov. 14, Adams and Morelli were recognized, along with several other Vietnam Veterans, at a Quilts of Valor ceremony at the Tipp Center in Tipp City.
“What I did was my job,” Adams said. “I never thought of it as being heroic or worthy of honor. But it was nice to be recognized and receive the quilt alongside other women.”
Adams served as a medical lab technologist in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1970, moving from Bethesda, Md., to San Diego, Cali. Eventually, she was stationed in Vietnam. After leaving the U.S. Navy, Adams continued her work as a medical lab technician in San Diego before moving back to the Dayton area.
Morelli served as a surgical technician, cardiology technician, and in the emergency room in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1964 and again from 1966 to 1969. In her time with the U.S. Army, she was stationed in Alabama, Texas, Massachusetts, Washington, Okinawa, and Washington, D.C. After leaving the U.S. Army, Morelli went to college and earned a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees. She was as a teacher, a counselor, and an educational administrator.
Like Adams, she was surprised by the recognition.
“It was nice to be recognized,” Morelli said. “I was proud to serve my country.”
Amy LeVan, director of Volunteer Services at Ohio’s Hospice, attended the ceremony.
“It was very moving to hear their service history and what each Veteran had gone through,” she said. “Peg and Penny were two of the three women honored. We’re honored and privileged to have them serve as Veteran Volunteers at Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County. We’re grateful to them for their service to our nation.”
Adams has been an Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County volunteer since 2016. She is active as a Veteran volunteer. She also helps with the Christmas crafter group, delivers supplies, and helps however she can. She volunteered after learning about the American Pride Veteran Care by Ohio’s Hospice program. The program honors the service of Veteran patients and assures them of receiving the highest quality of care. In addition to celebrating and thanking Veterans for their service, American Pride assists patients in obtaining access to all the benefits to which Veterans are eligible, provides spiritual support, and addresses individual post-traumatic stress issues.
“I was at an event for Vietnam Veterans where Bob Allen, the American Pride coordinator from Ohio’s Hospice, spoke about the American Pride program, and it was an opportunity that fit me perfectly,” Adams said. “I worked in the medical field. My mom and uncle had been on hospice. So, I knew how much good it could do.”
Morelli has been a volunteer since 2007, originally getting involved as a board member for seven years, and then she began volunteering to provide caregiver relief, make deliveries, visit patients, and make phone calls to patients.
Both Adams and Morelli are active in the American Pride program at Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County, often conducting recognition ceremonies and talking with Veteran patients.
“We render personal salutes to each Veteran, and there have been occasions where patients have not spoken or responded to caregivers for hours, but they’ll raise a salute,” Adams said. “It means a lot to us and to them.”
For more information about the American Pride Veteran Care by Ohio’s Hospice program, visit https://www.ohioshospice.org/american-pride/.
For more information about Quilts of Valor, visit: https://www.qovf.org.
Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County, an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice, has been serving patients in Miami County since 1983. The not-for-profit hospice is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those facing life-limiting illnesses Miami, Darke, Shelby and surrounding counties. Its care has earned recognition from the Hospice Honors program of HEALTHCAREfirst and Deyta Analytics.