Retired Col. Clifford Worthy, aka ‘The Black Knight,’ receives a Quilt of Valor

Lynn Lou Lebeck, representing the Michigan Quilts of Valor group, sits next to retired Col. Clifford Worthy as his daughter Kim Worthy and grand-daughter Aniston Worthy look over his shoulder.

All of us, across our community of authors, are celebrating with retired Col. Clifford Worthy as a veterans’ group honored Cliff with a beautiful red-white-and-blue Quilt of Valor. And we want to thank Ham Schirmer for sending us the following report:

The handmade quilt was presented to Col. Worthy by a Michigan chapter of Quilts Of Valor. This is a volunteer group of people whose mission is to bestow a symbol of thanks and remembrance to those who have served in harm’s way to protect our lives and freedoms. The beautiful quilts are handmade by countless volunteers across the United States, who wish to thank those who have served.

The way in which Col. Worth received his was through an arrangement made by a fellow resident at Cedarbrook, where Clifford lives. After attending a ceremony for another veteran at the residence, this friend felt that Clifford was more than deserving of the honor. He contacted Quilts of Valor and arrangements were quickly made. As a result, Clifford is now the proud owner of a beautiful red, white and blue quilt which he proudly displays in his apartment.

Care to learn more about this hero?

Readers nationwide have told us how much they have enjoyed Col. Worthy’s memoir, The Black Knight: An African-American Family’s Journey from West Point—a Life of Duty, Honor and Country.

This is an especially timely story, because July 26, 2023, marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9981, issued on July 26, 1948, by President Harry S. Truman. This executive order abolished discrimination “on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin” in the United States Armed Forces.

Retired Col. Clifford Worthy is the oldest living Black graduate of The United States Military Academy: West Point.

He is a great grandson of slaves; he was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Hamtramck, Michigan. Worthy was one of the few African American men of his generation who were accepted and excelled as a Black Knight of the Hudson, the traditional nickname for West Point cadets. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1953 through 1975—including as an artillery officer in Germany during the Cold War and in Vietnam just after the Tet Offensive. He participated in Operation Gyroscope after World War II and served as Battalion Commander and Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army.

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