A look of surprise and disbelief spread across Ronald Payne’s face when his name was announced as the recipient of the Quilt of Valor during the Veterans Recognition event at Las Positas College on Jan. 23.
The quilt recognizes and honors service members for their sacrifices while defending the U.S. After describing Payne’s eight deployments into war zones as a combat medic over 26 years, Sharon Bowers, of the Daughters of the American Revolution, spoke of her contacts with Payne on community college campus.
“Ron is kind, generous and caring in everything he does. It was truly an honor and tremendous privilege to recommend him for the quilt,” Bowers said. Evelyn Andrews, LPC veteran specialist agreed, stating “Ron is an anchor and a voice for the student veterans and a leader on campus.”
Michelle McCumber presented the quilt and wrapped it around Payne. McCumber and others in the Amador Valley Quilting Guild had designed and sewn the quilt.
Payne thanked the DAR, the Veterans First Program, and everyone else involved for the recognition and honor. “I realized I needed a degree to pursue any goal or achieve the maximum level of success to continue to serve my country,” he said. “I am currently majoring in politics and criminal justice at LPC and then will transfer to a four-year college. I want to find work in the government in a field representing the veteran community.”
The LPC Veterans First Program’s goal is to provide services and resources that will help veterans achieve their educational goals.
“This program allows student veterans insight on multiple career choices and provides higher rates of success for life after college,” said Kristi DeLashmutt, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and LPC student.