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 of their trip.
MTSU’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center officials presented Terry Oxford, a Vietnam veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient, with a “Quilt of Valor” and walking stick for his heroism.
The Iowa-based nonprofit Quilts of Valor Foundation program distributes handmade, healing quilts nationwide to military service members and veterans to offer tangible thanks, honor and comfort for their valor and sacrifice.
“They are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts,” said Jill Shaver of Murfreesboro, who collaborated on Oxford’s quilt with Maggie Klenke of Lebanon, Tennessee.
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. Jason Oxford, an MTSU alumnus, is director of corporate development for the Nashville Predators and lives with his family in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Terry Oxford said he was unaware of the veterans’ quilt program before attending the MTSU event, led by Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives.
“This is such a fantastic thing to do,” Oxford, 75, said after hearing the history of the Quilts of Valor program. “A lot of veterans — especially Vietnam veterans — got very little recognition. What they’re doing here is admirable. … The quilt’s a great gift.”
During the quilt presentation, Shaver’s husband, Keith, gave Oxford a walking stick painted to commemorate the veteran’s two Purple Hearts, Green Beret patch and Vietnam service ribbons.
Huber, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, also presented Oxford with a silver commemorative “Challenge Coin.”
“I’m your action officer, willing and available to assist with any issue you have with the VA (Veterans Affairs),” Huber told Oxford.
Huber also told the father and son about the Daniels Center’s services and the abundant opportunities available to the combined 1,000 student veterans and family members now at MTSU, as well as financial gifts totaling $120,000 made to the center from The Journey Home Project, a veterans’ support organization founded by Daniels and his longtime manager.
Also attending the ceremony was center director Dr. Hilary Miller. The facility features 2,600 square feet on the first floor of the Keathley University Center and an additional 600 square feet on the third floor, which houses the Transitioning Home office. That office helps student veterans at MTSU with their post-military careers.
For more information about the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at MTSU and its services, call 615-904-8347.
MTSU has more than 240 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)