Quilts of Valor Foundation began in 2003 with a dream, literally a dream. Founder Catherine Roberts’ son Nat was deployed in Iraq.
According to Catherine, the dream was as vivid as real life. I saw a young man sitting on the side of his bed in the middle of the night, hunched over. The permeating feeling was one of utter despair. I could see his war demons clustered around, dragging him down into an emotional gutter. Then, as if viewing a movie, I saw him in the next scene wrapped in a quilt. His whole demeanor changed from one of despair to one of hope and well-being. The quilt had made this dramatic change. The message of my dream was: Quilts = Healing.
Catherine’s dream has brought warmth and comfort to 263,565 veterans since it’s inception in 2003, with 2,760 being awarded last month.
Among those to be honored with a Quilt of Valor last month was Macon County native, Dr. Matthew Corbin.
The Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild, the local guild that carries out Quilts of Valor presentations in Western North Carolina recently presented Dr. Corbin with a Quilt of Valor in recognition of his service in the US Air Force from 2012-2019.
The Quilt of Valor Foundation is a national organization that works with local quilting organizations to donate time/materials in making quilts for veterans and active duty military. Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild member and Franklin resident, Terry Barr, hand stitched the entire quilt that was presented too Corbin. The project had to meet the Quilt of Valor standards of excellence and took 3 months to complete.
In 2010, Dr. Corbin completed his Bachelor of Science degree at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC where he played two collegiate sports. During college, Dr. Corbin met his beautiful wife, Charissa and they married in the Spring of 2011 before beginning dental school at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During dental school, he excelled clinically and served as President of the American Student Dental Association and Student Representative on the North Carolina Dental Society Board of Trustees. He served as the dental school Representative in the Graduate and Professional Student Federation and received the James A. Harrell Citizenship and Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in dentistry, community, place of worship, and higher education. He completed research with the Graduate Operative Department and served at free dental clinics both locally and abroad, including directing dental mission trips to Guatemala and Peru.
After graduating dental school in 2015, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force and completed a 1-year residency program where he furthered his knowledge and skills in many advanced specialty aspects of dentistry. He then took an assignment to serve a 3-year tour at a remote location in Alaska, where he practiced advanced surgical and cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Corbin led his team to multiple awards, including Air Force Small Dental Clinic of the Year. He and his wife introduced two beautiful girls into the world during their time in Alaska. Sadie Ann and Josie Lee are their most precious possessions.
After finishing his rotation as a Captain with the Air Force in Alaska, Dr. Corbin returned home to serve the Macon County Community.
“We’ve been thrilled to be back home and serve our community,” said Dr. Corbin. “I’m thankful to Terry and the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild for giving their time and talents to reach veterans here and around the world. This quilt is a display of exceptional craftsmanship, care, and passion. The amount of time she spent creating it is humbling.”