What is a Quilt of Valor, one may ask? According to the Quilts of Valor web site (qovf.org), “a Quilt of Valor (QOV) is a quality, handmade quilt that is machine or hand quilted. It is awarded to a Service Member or Veteran who has been touched by war.” Recently a ceremony for local QOV recipients was held at the Arick L. Lore American Legion post 274. It was coordinated by Dee Wunder and Joyce Baki, local quilters and members of the Calvert County Quilts of Valor. Joyce Baki is the President of the Women’s Auxiliary at post 274 and coordinated the ceremony.
Joyce Baki opened the ceremony by introducing American Legion Commander Jay Bolles. Commander Bolles welcomed everyone by saying, “Thank you every one for coming out today, all the veterans, especially those we are honoring today, we are very proud of you.”
The ceremony continued with Dee Wunder explanting the significance of the Quilt of Valor Foundation. Dee Wunder then explained the significance of the quilts themselves, stating that the quilts are made of three layers. “The first layer, with its varied colors, shape and fabric represent the communities and the many individuals that we are. The second layer is the batting and it is the center of the quilt, it represents our hope that it may provide warmth and comfort and peace and healing to the individual that receives it. The backing is the last layer and it represents the support of family and the gratitude of a nation that lives free. The quilt is surrounded by the binding on all four sides, in hopes that the recipient will be surrounded by love and honor.” Each recipient was then cloaked with their quilts by members of the Junior American Legion Auxilary members: Nevaeh Shelton, Erica Daymude and Machaela Oliver.
Joyce Baki then presented each recipient with a multi stared navy colored fabric case for the quilt. Joyce stated that these fabrics were meant to serve on the flags of the United States, but they had some imperfections, which may never be found. Now they are serving their purpose, by protecting these Quilts of Valor.
The Calvert County recipients were Joseph “Joe” Bateman, James “Jim” Carberry, Larry Cox, Joe Dodson, Robert “Bob” Graves, Dwight Jacobsen, Eugene “Gene” Mc Hugh, Frederick “Fritz” Miller and Robert “Bob” Priddy. In addition, each recipient was accompanied with their military branch song, as played on his keyboard by David Hardy. All recipients were surrounded by family, friends and fellow veterans, while receiving their Quilts. Larry Cox had three generations of family with him. Joe Bateman had his wife and family with him.
Tony O’Donnell then wished the recipients greetings from the Department of Maryland American Legion and its commander Phillip Dorsey, “we are honored to be part of this, we are so proud of what this organization (QOV) does.” And Tony added, on a personal note, that his friend Jim Carberry told him stories in the past: “Jim told Tony that he served in a Navy, where the ships were made of wood and the men were made of steel!”
According to the QOV web site, “These Quilts say unequivocally, ‘Thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our nation.’” Indeed, thank you gentleman, these quilts will offer the honor of a soft place to rest, for the men of steel.
Please enjoy the picture gallery below.
Jen Wallace Magee / Calvert Beacon Intern