A local World War II veteran was recognized for her service with a Quilt of Valor Monday.
Marcella “Sally” Cashon of Chadron went to work at the Utah State Agricultural College cleaning and repairing small airplane parts with a friend when she was 19 after hearing that America needed help filling jobs traditionally done by men. When she learned that women were also needed in the services, she returned to her native state of Wisconsin and enlisted in the Army.
The Army’s requirements called for a height of 5’2” and a weight of at least 100 pounds. Cashon just made the height requirement and piled on heavy clothes to ensure that she met the weight requirements. Her basic training took place in Georgia and then was sent to Leavenworth, Kansas. She was stationed there for two years, working in the insurance department for service personnel.
Her time in the service earned her a handmade quilt, presented at the Chadron American Legion this week.
The Quilt of Valor project began in 2003, with volunteers making and distributing quilts to veterans in appreciation of their sacrifice. Since its inception more than 211,500 quilts have been presented to veterans across the country, said Kathy Dye of the Panhandle Blocks Quilts of Valor Group. Last year, nearly 1,100 quilts were presented to veterans in Nebraska alone.
“A Quilt of Valor says – in a way mere words cannot – thank you for your service, your sacrifice and your valor. Thank you for standing in harm’s way to protect the freedoms enjoyed by the rest of us. Thank you for putting your life on hold to serve. Your Quilt of Valor is our appreciation of your fulfillment of your duty,” Dye said.
Cashon’s quilt, featuring Mount Rushmore, was quilted by the Gold Star Mother’s group, said Pat Mracek. The group wanted to present the quilt to a female veteran and selected Cashon, who was visibly touched by the gesture.
“You made me cry,” she said.