Fort Rucker Soldiers receive quilts from grateful community
June 2, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Soldiers touched by the hardship of war received a special honor May 26 at Lyster Army Health Clinic.
More than 20 Soldiers received handmade quilts from the Quilts of Valor Foundation, a nationwide nonprofit organization meant to “cover those touched by war,” according to the foundation’s website.
“It is such a special honor to present these Soldiers with homemade Quilts of Valor as a tribute to their gallant service,” said Paula Allman, Fort Rucker QOV coordinator. “We hope the quilts will always keep them covered with love and comfort.”
The quilts were made by several different organizations and individuals who volunteered their time and skills to support those in the military, Allman said.
CW2 Cody Edmondson, B Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, said he had never received anything like the quilt before. He said it was a special moment because he was just doing his job.
“It was extremely thoughtful of the people who took the time to do this,” he said. “People really do appreciate what we do, but for us we’re just doing our jobs. We’re doing it for the guys on our left and right.”
Edmondson’s last deployment was a 15-month stint in Iraq that ended in December 2007.
Staff Sgt. Shelton Gore, 6th Military Police Detachment operations sergeant, also received a quilt and, like Edmondson, didn’t expect his service to be rewarded in such a way.
“I’ve never gotten a quilt before and it’s such an honor for someone to think about us serving the country to go out of their way to make something for us,” he said. “I’m going to hang this one up on the wall so my (children) can see it and understand that we didn’t just fight for nothing. They can see that there are people and organizations out there that care about and support what we do.”
Gore said he was a little emotional when accepting his quilt, but he tried not to let it show.
“I smile a lot when I get emotional, so I had a big smile going on when I went up to get mine,” he said.
Gore returned from his last 15-month deployment to Iraq in December 2008.
According to Allman, anyone can nominate a Soldier for a Quilt of Valor. The only criterion is that the Soldier must have spent time in the warzone.
Jo Lassiter, Quilting Angels of Montgomery, Ala. instructor, said the most rewarding part of presenting quilts is showing the Soldier how much they are loved and appreciated.
“I just wanted the Soldiers to understand how much we love and appreciate them,” she said. “We brought 10 of the quilts presented today. We work on them as a group. I’ve been quilting for about 40 years.”
Col. Patrick Denman, Lyster Army Health Clinic commander, said the ceremony was a “wonderful thing.”
“It’s great that people are presenting the quilts that are made with love for the Soldiers,” he said. “This was all about showing appreciation for the Soldiers and what they do for our country.”
For more information on the Quilts of Valor Foundation, call 255-9855 or visit www.qovf.org.