About Quilts of Valor
In each issue of Love of Quilting we include a quilt pattern that meets the guidelines established by the Quilts of Valor Foundation®. We feel very strongly about this patriotic program and you can see why. Take a look at the details below for a better understanding of what Quilts of Valor is all about.
The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation® is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor®.
Who Can Participate?
Whether you’re a quilt shop owner, an experienced quilter (a Coach), someone who has never made a quilt before (a Rookie), or someone who simply wants to perform a national service, all are welcome to participate in this program.
A message from Catherine Roberts
Founder/Executive Director QOV Foundation®
The Light of Inclusion
In the early days of the organization, the primary focus was on awarding quilts to service members wounded in the Iraq (OIF) and Afghanistan (OEF) conflicts. Catherine Roberts remembers:
I affectionately referred to these young men as “babies” to distinguish them from veterans of other conflicts. Among us civilians, there were no complaints, as we were in the throes of an ongoing war. However, there were faint rumblings from those who worked at Veterans Administration Medical Centers (VAMCs). They politely pointed out it wasn’t fair to award a QOV to one group of wounded and exclude others. The light of inclusiveness began to glimmer.
At an awards ceremony at a VAMC in White River Junction, VT, in 2006, we saw wounded veterans from all conflicts being awarded quilts, not our policy at the time. My husband Chris “got it” right away, but it took several years for me to really understand. That happened in 2009 in Bellingham, WA. A group of us got together for a quilting retreat. One of our activities for the weekend was to award quilts at an event called “American Veterans Tribute and Traveling Wall Exhibit” in Bellingham. I could not find a group of OIF/OEF veterans for the QOVs we brought that day. A group of Vietnam veterans were there to perform a “Patriot Guard” ride past the Vietnam traveling memorial wall on their motorcycles. This event changed my whole outlook on who should receive a Quilt of Valor. As we were awarding quilts, the Vietnam vets said over and over again, “Ma’am, this is the first time in forty years anyone has ever thanked me for my service.” All of us were thunderstruck. From then on, any warrior who had been touched by war, no matter when his or her service, could receive a Quilt of Valor. No questions asked.