Stephen Vining Submitted photo

Dalton Proctor Submitted photo

D. Evan McIntire Submitted photo

Larry Fish Submitted photo

Ron Thompson Submitted photo

These photos are of the “Quilts of Valor” recipients from the Town of Weld. The Quilts of Valor Foundation recently presented patriotic quilts to honor five members of the US Military Services for their service, dedication, and sacrifice to our nation. The recipients are Larry Fish – US Army, D. Evan McIntire – US Army, Dalton Proctor – US Army, Stephen Vining – US Navy and Ronald Thompson – US Air National Guard. All five recipients reside in Weld.

Founded in 2003 by “Blue Star” mother Catherine Roberts, “Quilts of Valor” is a national organization of volunteers from every state whose mission it is to honor and cover service personnel and veterans touched by war or the threat of war with comforting and healing quilts. Volunteers make the quilts either as individuals or as part of a Quilts of Valor group, and the quilts are then presented to recognize the service, sacrifice and valor of current and former members of the military.

As of September 2021, the organization’s volunteers have made and awarded more than 283,000 “valor” quilts in grateful appreciation of the personal sacrifice and honorable service of those who leave home and family to stand in harm’s way to preserve the freedoms we Americans enjoy.

In case you missed the articles that featured those from Weld receiving this honor so far, they were: Bernard Vining – Army, Fred England – Army, Lawrence “Rusty” Lee – Army, Paul Druan – Navy, Edmund Hutchinson – Army and 2nd Tour in the Navy, David Hutchinson – Army, Joanie Masterman – Army, Mary Ann Gordon – Navy, Linda Lee – Army, Michael Pratt – Navy then Navy Reserves, Kevin Cochran – Navy, David Latham – Air Force, retired, David Fish – Air Force then Army Reserves, Kevin Frey – Navy and Tom Dickson – Navy.

The Quilts of Valor foundation is a national organization founded in 2003 by “Blue Star” mom Catherine Roberts. With a son deployed in Iraq – a gunner sitting atop a Humvee – she felt 10 seconds away from panic 24 hours a day, every day. It was during that time when her son was deployed that she had the idea of comforting Veterans with quilts.

Since then, more than 140,000 quilts have been awarded here in the United States, and in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan. With each quilt, the mission to honor Service members and Veterans is fulfilled – one human being reaching out and touching another, without judgement, reaching out with acceptance and with an acknowledgement of service to our nation in very trying circumstances.

Quilts of Valor Foundation recognizes and acknowledges the “war demons” that plague soldiers from all wars. Thousands of quilters all over the US work daily to create quilts to cover warriors from all conflicts, including WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A quilt of Valor is made of three layers, and each layer has its own special meaning: The top with its many colors, shapes and fabrics represents the communities and the many individuals we are.

The batting , the filler, is the center of the quilt, its warmth. It represents our hope that this quilt will bring warmth, comfort, peace, and healing to the individual who receives it. The backing is the strength that supports the other layers. It represents the strength of the recipient, the support of his or her family, our communities, and our nation. Each stitch that holds the layers together represents love, gratitude, and sometimes the tears of the maker.

Each quilt also represents a three – part message from the givers to those receiving: First, we HONOR you for your service. We honor you for leaving all you hold dear and to stand in harm’s way in a time of crisis, protecting us from the effects of war.

Next, we know that freedom is not free. The cost of freedom is the dedication of the lives of the men and women like you, and this quilt is meant to say thank you for your sacrifice. And finally, this quilt is meant to offer comfort to you and to remind you that although your family and friends cannot be with you at all times, you are forever in our thoughts and our hearts.

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