Wrapping our veterans in Quilts of Valor

(IMG:WPMI) Wrapping our veterans in Quilts of Valor

I recently met three Baldwin County women who have a passion for sewing driven by a special relationship with our country and those who serve it.

"My father was in the Navy. And I have a daughter in the Army," says Roxann Conner.

"Well, I was married to a veteran. He was in the Air Force," offers Patti Lynne Miller.

And Cathy Wilson?

"I served in the Navy. I met my husband in the Navy."

In fact, there are sewing circles in a number of our Gulf Coast communities with members who feel the same way, accompanied by a strong desire to wrap their arms around our military veterans in a way they won't soon forget.

"I get tears all the time, every time we start handing these out," says Wilson.

They are making Quilts of Valor. Each is hand stitched, with the intention to wrap that vet with a love and compassion that the receiver can literally touch and feel and see.

They can see the stitches, the carefully-crafted patterns, the patriotic pride that doesn't come with a store bought comforter. No, someone spent time on these quilts, because, says this veteran, they're worth it.

"It was started by a young woman who had a dream about reaching out and touching people with quilts," explains Wilson. "her son was in the war at that time and received one of those quilts"

That was 178 thousand quilts ago, more than 200 of those made right here in Baldwin County.

And now, this Quilts of Valor sewing circle is reaching out to Girl Scout Troop 8004 in Daphne.. even a boy scout or two... showing them how.

And quilter Roxanne Conner says, as these young people sew, they learn so much more.

"We'll help teach them the responsibility and what an honor it is to give to somebody who protects them."

"It's very close to my heart," says quilter Patti Lynne Miller, a tear rolling down her face. She learned to do this with her grandmother in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Now she quilts in honor of her late husband, also a vet,

"It's not enough but it's a daily reminder," she says. "They have it in their possession and they can look at it and remember how many people in this community support them."

It's a blanket of pride and profound appreciation as individual as the veteran who will receive it.

On Wednesday night, at the Church of Latter day Saints in Daphne, another group of vets will receive their Quilts of Valor in a private ceremony.

And more quilters are needed.

To volunteer, visit their Facebook page.

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