The fabric of family
Grandfather, grandson receive Quilts of Valor at the same time
DUNCOMBE — Richard J. McBride, a 95-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran, thought he was at the Duncombe Community Center on Wednesday night to see his grandson receive a Quilt of Valor.
His grandson, Jacob J. McBride, a U.S. Army veteran of Webster City, thought he was there to see his grandfather receive a Quilt of Valor.
In reality, the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary No. 491 planned the event so both of them could receive quilts together on the same night.
“The grandfather thinks he’s coming to see the grandson get one,” said Joan Hisler, vice president of the ALA No. 491, prior to the event. “And the grandson thinks he’s there to see his grandfather get one. They are both getting one, so it’s really a surprise.”
The plan worked.
“I was surprised,” said Jacob McBride, who served as a sergeant in the Army, after receiving the quilt. “I did not see that coming.”
Mary Ellen Murphy, president of the ALA No. 491, said the group wanted to “celebrate our veterans.”
“A quilt is an expression of gratitude meant to thank you and comfort you,” she said during the presentation. “A Quilt of Valor unequivocally says thank you for your service and sacrifice.”
The quilts were sewn by Sally Paine, of Duncombe. Cindy Kaufman, owner of Family Quilt Shop, did the quilting.
Jacob McBride, an infantryman, earned two Purple Hearts during his service, from 2010 to 2015.
In September of 2013, he at one point questioned whether or not he would see his child again.
“I didn’t get to see my first born child until she was six months old,” he said.
While at an observation post in Logar Province, Afghanistan, McBride’s team began receiving gunfire from multiple insurgents.
When one of his team’s machine guns went down, McBride ran back for another one.
“I felt something hit my leg,” he recalled. “I didn’t know what it was. Then I felt something running down my leg and called for the medic.”
He added, “With it being around the time my kid was born, I was thinking who knows what could happen next. Am I going to see my kid again?”
McBride was honorably discharged in 2015.
Reflecting on his time of service, McBride remembers his fellow soldiers.
“Knowing my friends had my back and we were able to make it out of there,” he said. “It gave me a second family. The guys I served with in Afghanistan, I still talk to them all the time. We are still checking up on each other. A big honor to serve with those guys. Some of them are part of the reason I’m still here today.”
In terms of his motivation for enlisting, McBride said his grandfather played a role.
“Growing up he was my inspiration on why I wanted to serve,” Jacob McBride said. “He was a big part on me joining the military.”
Richard McBride was a corporal in the Marines, serving from 1944 to 1946. He was profiled by The Messenger in 2018 and again in 2019.
Richard McBride enlisted at age 18. He transported goods and the wounded in the Battle of Peleliu during World War II.
When the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in August 1945, McBride and the other Marines were loading ships for the planned invasion of Japan. They had no idea what an atomic bomb was.
McBride was honorably discharged after 17 months with the Marines, and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal.
Both Richard McBride and his grandson have been active in the American Legion.
“We are proud of you,” said Hisler as she presented the quilts.
Jacob McBride, who now works as a team manager for Van Diest Supply Co., was appreciative of the support.
“It’s great,” he said. “It shows there’s people out there who care about the veterans and do something for them for nothing.”