WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Veterans were honored with Quilts of Valor at a motocross event on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Quilting might not be the first thing to come to mind when you think of motocross, but for some of the athletes, dozens of which are veterans, quilts happened to be one of the highlights of this year’s Kansas State AMA Championship.
On Saturday, dozens of motorists at the Bar 2 Bar MX track were part of the largest Quilts of Valor presentation held outside of a military base in the state of Kansas.
“I do believe that it’s the first time it’s ever happened at a motocross event,” said Bruce Richardson, the owner of Bar 2 Bar MX.
Fifty veterans received their own handmade quilt, each made with a unique design donning red, white and blue.
“It’s a great honor. I’ve known a lot of people that have gotten Quilts of Valor. I feel humbled by the whole experience,” said Jim Ratcliffe, the state commander for the Department of Kansas Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“I can’t even explain how happy and, and just grateful I am to even be a part of it,” said Peter Linquist, who received a Quilt of Valor.
As of April 2022, the Quilts of Valor foundation has given out 300,000 quilts to veterans nationwide. The goal of this labor of love is to promote healing for those suffering from PTSD.
“It shows that people out there care, and our service did mean something for this country,” said Mark Coday, a board member of the Vet MX Foundation.
Several veterans are hoping this year’s unique partnership will encourage similar partnerships between other organizations supporting veterans.
“We’ve brought a lot of guys in to help out, and to know that we’re being recognized in that way, or even just the event that we’re a part of is being recognized in that way is, is something huge,” Athlete Jamie Bonalewicz said.
“Anytime we can be in the front, let people know we’re here, we need your help, it’s a good thing,” said Ratcliffe.
This year’s championship included 370 athletes.