Two local veterans were honored at a ceremony in Dalton by the national organization Quilts of Valor Foundation: Gene Franklin, who served in the U.S. Army in Germany, and Rodger Eidson, who served in the U.S. Army as well as in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam.
Fran Randolph, leader of the Quilts of Valor Belles chapter in Trenton, presented each veteran with a patriotic quilt as a group of friends participated in the ceremony. Both quilts were made by Renea and Randy Mayfield of Dalton and were quilted by the QOV Belles in Trenton.
As part of the presentation of a Quilt of Valor to a veteran, the quilt is draped around the veteran’s shoulders.
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. Veterans can be nominated for a quilt at the Quilts of Valor Foundation website.
The Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003 by a Blue Star mom and quilter, Catherine Roberts of Delaware, whose son was deployed in Iraq. One night she dreamed of a soldier struggling on the side of his cot plagued with his “war demons.” Then in her dream, she saw the soldier sitting on the side of his cot wrapped in a quilt that comforted him and gave him peace.
From the dream, the Quilts of Valor Foundation began. It took two years for the founder and a group of her friends to create the first 100 quilts. The organization grew and now has chapters in every state and thousands of volunteer quilters all across the United States. To date, 230,000 quilts have been awarded to active service members as well as veterans from all American branches of service and conflicts.
Quilts of Valor are considered by the organization’s founder as the civilian equivalent of a Purple Heart Award. Quilts of Valor are awarded, not just handed out. The Quilt of Valor says thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor in serving our nation.
Each quilt brings a three-part message from the Quilts of Valor Foundation and a grateful nation to the recipients: honor for their service, sincere thanks for their sacrifice and comfort.
For more information about the Quilts of Valor Foundation, visit www.qovf.org.