By Don Benjamin
On Nov. 15, True Life Church in Cedaredge honored a dozen military veterans with handmade quilts created by a dedicated group of local quilters. Coordinated by Betsy Krager, Delta County Quilts of Valor (QOV) has been fashioning colorful remembrances and awarding quilts to area veterans for five years. Over 130 quilts have been presented since the group began making and distributing quilts in 2015.
Veterans honored last week include John Jackson (Army 1969-70); Emeitt LeRoy Black (Marines 1967-70); Bill Coates (Air Force 1962-66); Dave Short (Air Force 1958-79); Andrew Herald (Army 2007-present); Don Benjamin (Army 1963-66); Dan Blakeslee (Navy 1974-80); Phillip Larry Espinoza (Navy 1954-57); Scott Prescott (Army 1987-2011); Julie Prescott (Army 1988-92); Tholow Chan (Army National Guard 1966-71); Mary Ann Metzgar (Army 1976-79); and Jeremiah Cantonwine (Air Force 1994-98).
Betsy Krager started the group and has been quilting all five years. Other members of the Delta County QOV group and years of service are: Char Logelin (five years); Barb Murdoch (five); Jeanne Leser (five); Paula Mathews (four); Gail Morgan (three); Katie Jo Schwinn (three); Paulette Hawkins (three); Carlotta Gilbson (three); Chrissy Miller (two); Susan Harris (two); Elaine Proffer (one); Joann Thornburg (one); and Kristy Loghry (one).
Each quilt includes a personalized label with the recipient’s name and military service record. When presenting the quilts, Krager said:
“This quilt is awarded to you to say ‘thank you’ for your service, sacrifice and valor in serving our nation. This quilt consists of three layers held together by its quilting stitches. We like to think of the layers this way:
The top of the quilt 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 you. The backing is the strength that supports the other layers. It represents the strength of the recipient, the support of you, support of your friends and family, community and our nation. Each stitch holding the layers together represents love and gratitude.”
To nominate a veteran to receive a quilt of valor, email Krager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Delta County group works to further the mission of the national Quilts of Valor Foundation. For more information visit its website: qovf.org.