Quilts given to Warriors as symbol of love, appreciation
April 13, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Stars & Stripes Quilt Guild of Hinesville presented gifts of appreciation to wounded Soldiers from Fort Stewart's Warrior Transition Unit at the Winn Army Community Hospital Patriot Auditorium, April 7.
The non-profit group presented 10 skillfully handcrafted quilts to Soldiers as wartime tokens of comfort and appreciation in front of a standing room only crowd.
"We would like to give our Soldiers a tremendous 'thank you' for their service and sacrifice," said Debbie Flatt, local guild president.
"Soldiers of the 3rd ID are not only members of the community but members of our Family. When members of our community Family are hurting, other members step up to give a helping and comforting hand. Today, this hand is being offered by presenting 60 of our wounded with these quilts of comfort," said Flatt.
The guild is an offspring of the Quilts of Valor Foundation. The foundation was started in 2003 by Delaware native Catherine Roberts. Roberts wanted to give a tangible representation of love, by comforting wounded Soldiers affected by war.
Years later, Robert's vision of providing quilts to injured service members, helped to produce hundreds of non-profit groups like Stars & Stripes.
More than 23,000 active-duty Soldiers, Reservist and Guardsmen have been awarded quilts of valor.
The quilts are approximately 50-72 inches in length and can cover a twin-sized bed or be used as lap blankets for warriors in wheelchairs.
Colonel Yolanda Ruiz-Isales, deputy commander of nursing, Winn Army Community Hospital, spoke on behalf of Col. Paul Cordts, hospital commander, and thanked the guild for their selfless service.
"I hope that these quilts will inspire our Soldiers and lift their spirits," said Col. Yolanda Ruiz-Isales.
Warrior Transition Battalion commander, Lt. Col. William C. Reitemeyer, assisted guild members in presenting red, white and blue quilts to 10 WTU Soldiers.
More than 60 quilts will be donated to other Soldiers throughout the battalion in the coming days.
Specialist Joseph Molnar, Bravo Company, WTU, received his quilt at the ceremony. "I feel honored to receive the quilt," said Spc. Molnar. "The quilt represents love and warmth."
Stars and Stripes quilt guild serves Bryan, Bulloch, Liberty and Long counties. They meet the first Tuesday of each month at the Hazel B. Carter Senior Center, and the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Cross Screen Printing in Hinesville. Stars and Stripes will continue to provide quilts for the Soldiers of the WTU.
Visit www.QOVF.org to learn more about Quilts of Valor or to join the local guild e-mail SASQG@yahoo.com.