On Veterans’ Day, St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Urbandale, IA honored 37 veteran members with a special Quilts of Valor (QOV) presentation. The QOVs were handmade by 21 congregation members. The youngest volunteer quilter is 8 years old. Also, among the volunteers was an award-winning quilter. The presentation was a surprise (or covert operation) for the veterans who did not know they were going to receive quilts.
Quilts of Valor is actually a part of national foundation that began with Blue Star mom Catherine Roberts. The Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF) from her sewing room in Seaford, Delaware. Her son Nathanael’s year-long deployment to Iraq provided the initial inspiration, and her desire to see that returning warriors were welcomed home with the love and gratitude they deserved, provided the rest.
She hit upon the idea that linking quilt-toppers with machine quilters in a national effort could achieve her goal of gift quilts to all returning service men and women touched by war. These wartime quilts, called Quilts of Valor (QOV’s), would be a tangible reminder of an American’s appreciation and gratitude. Since 2003, QOVF has become a national grassroots community service effort, connecting the home-front with our wounded combat warriors and veterans.
QOVs are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts. Combat troops who have been wounded or touched by war are awarded this tangible token of appreciation that unequivocally says, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor.” For more information about the QOV visit www.qovf.org.
“We are so thankful for the sacrifice their veterans made for us and for our country. Each and every American citizen enjoys freedoms every single day because of the dedication of these men and women. Sometimes we forget what an amazing gift that freedom is. Coordinating this program was just a small way for us to let our veterans know how much we appreciate their courage and strength,” said Jennifer Ewing, president of the St. Stephen Lutheran Church Council and coordinator of the QOVF project.
Veterans honored included: Brent Arntzen, Pr. Dean Baer, George Bandstra, Dave Bolender, Michael Caskey, Bob DeBord, Jack Dewey, Jim Eastvold, Allan Fuller, Ken Goering, Ken Greethurst, Harold Hagge, Cliff Harris, Ed Heusinkveld, Larry Huntley, Sam Hurst, Carl Janssen, Craig Jones, Jack Koopal, Ed Kramer, Terry Lantz, Mark Middleton, Chris Nelsen, Bernard Olshausen, Mark Rehberg, James Rinell, Don Rumelhart, Jack Salzsieder, Bill Schaffer, Larry Stole, Jim Tokheim, Bob Waddell, Robert White, Roger Willem, John Williams, Rollie Williams, and Ed Winger.
Volunteer members of St. Stephen Lutheran Church who made the quilts include: Ardie Strawman, Barb Huey, Betty White, Deb Conlon, Deb Gay, Donna Schroeder, Jean Haas, Jennifer Ewing, Karen Rumelhart, Kris Shay, Krista Cairo, Linette Hadley, Lisa Turner, Nate Hersom, Pr. LeAnn Stubbs, Penny Twedt, Sharon Jorgenson, Sharon Schaeffer, Sherry Goetzel, Tami Caskey and Tracy Hersom.
Article written by Ann Torry, member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Urbandale, IA