The women came carrying quilts boasting delicate prints and careful stitching, the Freedom Riders in leather vests festooned with American flags, bald eagles and motorcycle patches.
Joined by 10 veterans of foreign wars dating to World War II, they would soon all be fighting back tears in a simple dining room in Saint Clairsville, OH.
The crowd was gathered for Cumberland Pointe Care Center’s first Quilts of Valor recognition, a short ceremony that embraces and comforts seniors who made wartime sacrifices. The June event came about thanks to Activities Director Becky Goundry, who had worked with Quilts of Valor and American Legion volunteers at another nursing home. Volunteer quilter Sue Olinski coordinated the hand-off on behalf of her 25 volunteers.
Each veteran received a lap-size quilt that was quickly converted to a display-worthy wall hanging for his room. Residents, staff and veterans all took delight in the ceremony and day’s events, but one resident was especially moved. “Our Vietnam vet got very teary because that was the forgotten war,” Goundry explained.
She hopes to hold another ceremony next year for any new veterans who arrive at the 100-bed facility. According to its website, the Quilts of Valor Foundation has given nearly 190,000 quilts in the last 15 years