Richard Schroeder was taking classes at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1951 when the 19-year-old got a rather pressing message from his future mother-in-law.
"She was a secretary on the draft board, and she saw that my name was coming up pretty quick on the list," Schroeder said. "She told me I better get on it and enlist before they draft you."
Schroeder answered his first pre-military orders and went on to serve with the United States Navy. His time was spent as a hospital corpsman for the Marine Corps.
"It was the best time of my life," Schroeder said through tears.
Schroeder and five other veterans were honored April 2 through the Quilts of Valor presentation at the California Nutrition Center.
Each quilt was pieced and quilted by members of the Bookworm sewing group that meets on Tuesdays at the Moniteau County Library. Members of the General Federated Women's Club work together with the Bookworm sewing group to piece together and sew quilts for veterans in the area. Since forming on Nov. 12 , 2012, the sewing group has presented 191 quilts.
The main idea for the quilts is to bring comfort to veterans "one quilt at a time," according to the sewing group and the GFWC.
Along with Schroeder was World War II veteran, Glen L. Heibreder who served with the Army. Heibreder said his service began at the end of the war in March 1945. During this time, he spent one year in Japan.
Another veteran who received a quilt was Jerry Greever who served during the mid-1960s. Greever told the audience he spent time in Korea and in Operation Desert Storm. Greever served 30 years and said, "I really enjoyed it."
Last, but not least, to receive a quilt was a veteran who is near to Schroeder's heart: his son. Air Force veteran Rudy Schroeder loaded bombs on aircraft while serving in Thailand from 1974-75.
"I was there when Saigon fell," Rudy said.
Marine veteran Allan Taylor was not present at the ceremony, but received a quilt as well. Members of the GFWC also read from "America's White Table" to remember and pay tribute to soldiers who did not return from the war.