On Saturday, Oct. 12, long-time Boothbay resident and World War II veteran, Curtis West, was presented a Quilt of Valor by Donna Brookings (Maine State Coordinator for the Foundation) at Edgecomb Green. She and her husband, a U.S. Navy veteran, travel all over the state of Maine delivering the vibrant, handmade quilts to deserving veterans.
The Quilts of Valor program was founded in 2003, when the mother of an Army soldier who was deployed in Iraq at that time had a vivid dream. Donna Brookings explained, “Catherine Roberts dreamed of a young man sitting on the side of his bed in the middle of the night. Then, as if viewing a movie, she saw him in the next scene wrapped in a quilt. His whole demeanor changed from one of despair to one of hope and well-being. The quilt had made this dramatic change.”
The message of the quilts is simple as they embody comfort and healing, feature the fine craftsmanship of many dedicated volunteer quilters, and they are awarded, not simply passed out. Each quilt is personalized to the veteran and comes with a certificate thanking them for their service, sacrifice, and valor in serving our nation in combat.
The Quilts of Valor website explains how one woman’s idea spread to become a nationwide organization supporting our country’s veterans. According to the organization’s founder, Catherine Roberts, ‘The team consisted of a quilt-topper, a person who pieces the top from various fabrics, and a quilter who uses a longarm quilting machine to create beautiful machine quilting. Our longarmers immediately played a crucial role in making our quilt tops go from ho hum to wow! As the Foundation grew, a longarm coordinator and destination coordinator, were added to the team and they soon had points of contact throughout the world who identified recipients and often facilitated the actual awards ceremonies.”
During the war, Mr. West served in combat with the 43rd Infantry Division in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. He was nominated for the honor by the Sarah Sherman, director of Strategic Partnerships at the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services. If you would like to learn more about the program and how to nominate a veteran or to volunteer go to the Quilts of Valor website at https://www.qovf.org or email Donna Brookings directly at firstname.lastname@example.org