The key to life is not accumulation. It's contribution.
- Stephen Covey
As a military mom, I’m always looking for ways to remind my son that his service in the Marine Corps is appreciated. Because our military personnel serve so far away from friends and family it’s easy for them to feel forgotten and ignored. Many times they feel like life itself has passed them by.
That’s one of the reasons I was so pleased to learn about the Quilts of Valor Foundation. This nonprofit organization was formed to give our military men and women something tangible to represent how much we care. It was founded by Blue Star Mom Catherine Roberts while her son was deployed to Iraq in 2003. Since then they have gone on to award over 95,000 quilts.
How to Request One for Your Soldier
The requirements to receive a quilt are simple: They are awarded to any living veteran or active duty soldier who has been deployed in a combat zone. The presentation quilts aren’t limited to a specific war. They recognize soldiers who served all combat situations, from WWII to Korea and Vietnam up through the present Afghanistan conflicts.
If the soldier who’s to be awarded the quilt is currently deployed in a combat zone, the presentation will be postponed until he/she is again stateside.
Once finished, the quilt will be presented to the soldier by a representative of the local QOVF, either in a group setting or in private. You can request a quilt for yourself or on behalf of someone one else. There’s no charge for the quilt, but there are lots of opportunities to volunteer with Quilts of Valor.
Ways You Can Get Involved
The Quilts of Valor Foundation always needs help from those who quilt. But they also accept donations of quilting supplies, as well as monetary donations to help defray the cost of such a huge undertaking. Beyond that, it’s a local group who will be making the quilt for your soldier, and that’s the perfect opportunity for you to get personally involved.
There truly is nothing quite like a handmade quilt, and this one will be crafted with love and prayers, proving that a soldier’s sacrifice is recognized and valued.
Edie Melson is a leading professional in the publishing industry. She also knows what it’s like to send a loved one off to war. Her oldest son went from high school graduation, to Marine Corp boot camp, to Iraq; where he served two tours fighting on the front lines as an infantry Marine. Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, is Edie’s heart project. Look for her two newest books for military families debuting in 2014: While My Son Serves and While My Husband Serves. You can also connect with Edie on Twitter and Facebook.