Greenwood VFW volunteers create quilts for veterans

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. The model appeared simple: have a volunteer team who would donate their time and materials to make a quilt. One person would piece the top and the other would quilt it. I saw the name for this special quilt: it was Quilt of Valor, a QOV. Their mission: to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts of valor.

Quilts of Valor members present a quilt they created. Front row, left to right: Jeanette Bagley, Connie Weiger, Ruth Rose and Makayla Grimes. Back row, left to right: Kathy Heath. Katrina Jewula, Carol Henke, Alice Sweeney and Christine Hurley. (Photos courtesy of Greenwood VFW Post 5864)

Christina Hurley, Indiana state coordinator for the Quilts of Valor Foundation, and her group met at Greenwood VFW Post 5864 on Feb. 5 to make additional quilts and to present three quilts to veterans of the post.

Kenneth Hall served in the U.S. Army as a captain in the Infantry. He served in Korea. He was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Korean Defense Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Ken is currently our post chaplain and has previously served as our surgeon.

Bobby R. Jennett served in the U.S. Army. He was a Specialist 4 and a supply clerk. He served in Korea. Bobby earned the Korean Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal and National Defense Service Medal. He has held the positions of chaplain and surgeon at the post.

Michael R. Tomes served in the U.S. Army and was a military policeman. His rank was Spec. 4. He served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971. Mike was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device (Valor), Purple Heart for wounds received while engaging the enemy, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Mike has held the position of post quartermaster for nine years and was a member of the House Committee.

Bobby Jennett, at left, and Mike Tomes on the right, wait for Christine Hurley to get started with the presentations.

What is a Quilt of Valor? A Quilt of Valor® (QOV) is a quality, handmade quilt that is machine or hand quilted. It is awarded to a service member or veteran who has been touched by war. The Quilt says unequivocally, “Thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our nation.” To use the term Quilt of Valor, Quilts of Valor or QOV, the quilt must be a specific size, must have a label with required information, it must be awarded (it is not a gift) and it must be recorded.