Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Quilts of Valor, part of Veterans Day program

Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2020

A Quilts of Valor presentation was part of the Veteran’s Day program held Saturday, November 7 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2689 in Huntington. Quilts are presented to veterans in honor of their service, and the local presentation was made by the VFW Auxiliary 2689.

Quilts of Valor is a foundation established in 2003 by Blue Star mom, Catherine Roberts, after her son was deployed to Iraq. Roberts said that she was ten seconds away from panic, 24 hours per day. She had a dream that she explained was as vivid as real life.

Roberts said, “I saw a young man sitting on the side of his bed in the middle of the night, hunched over with his head in his hands. The permeating feeling was one of utter hopelessness and despair. I could see his war demons clustered around, trying to drag him down to an emotional gutter.” Roberts continued, “Then, as if viewing a movie, I saw him in the next scene wrapped in a quilt. His entire demeanor changed from one of hopelessness and despair, to one of hope and well-being. The quilt had helped make a dramatic change. The message of my dreams was: quilts equal healing.”

Over 255,000 Quilts of Valor have been created and awarded to service members and veterans all over the world as a result of Roberts dream. When a quilt is presented, it is wrapped around a veteran with the words, “On behalf of the Quilts of Valor Foundation and in recognition of your service to this nation in the United States Armed Forces, it is a privilege to honor you with this Quilt of Valor. Please accept this Quilt of Valor in grateful thanksgiving for your service and sacrifice in the United States Military, in the defense of our country.”

Not only are Quilts of Valor presented personally, but have also been sent to major treatment centers such as Walter Reed Hospital and Brook Army Medical Center, Veteran’s centers and facilities.

In last Saturday’s local service, recipients of quilts and the presenter included: receiver, Leslie Ackermann, presented by Mary Whitesell, Auxiliary President; Dick Groves, Lois Walling, past Auxiliary President; Max Heffelfinger, Linda Raddenbach, quilter; Robert Holzinger Jr., Gloria Holzinger, mother; Charles “Chuck” Kuschel, Stephanie Smith, life-long friend; Rex Luey, Tess Luey, wife; Glen “Woody” Schnitz, Malinda Taylor, quilter; Mike Smith, Debbie Smith, wife and Auxiliary Conductress; John Stockman, Jim Kneller, 5th District Auxiliary President; Jerry Walling, Lois Walling, wife and Auxiliary Chaplain; Jeff Wintrode, Loretta Wintrode, wife and Mike Walker, Pam Leyman, Auxiliary Senior Vice President. Recipients unable to attend were Larry Shaw, Robert Burnsworth, Jack Guy, John Clayborn and Doyle Beer.

Special recognition was given to Malinda Taylor and Linda Raddenbach for quilting most of the quilts. Huntington County Homemakers were thanked for having a “hand” in the process.

The mission statement of the Quilts of Valor Foundation reads “To cover Service Members and Veterans touched by war, with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.” The quilts are planned, cut out, sewn together, pressed, layered and quilted with thoughts of those who have served their country in military service. To “cover” a veteran that you know with one of these special quilts or for more information, visit www.QuiltsofValor.org.

Shown in the photo is Leslie Ackermann after she received her Quilt of Valor quilt from presenter Mary Whitesell, Auxiliary President.