Several Hoosier members of the Quilts of Valor Foundation received certificates of appreciation from the Indiana Adjutant General for their commitment to honoring service members. Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger and Command Sgt. Maj. James Brown of the Indiana National Guard presented the awards at Joint Forces Headquarters – Indiana in Indianapolis, November 5.
The mission of the foundation is to cover all physically or psychologically combat- wounded veterans with wartime quilts called Quilts of Valor. The foundation members consider wounded service members from the War on Terror first and foremost in determining priorities.
A mission the Columbus area foundation group leader, Kathy Fruhner, says is well worth the time. “Just knowing it’s going to comfort somebody is rewarding,” said Fruhner.
Sgt. Tony Maddox, a Soldier who was injured in Iraq by an Improvised Explosive Device while deployed with the 1313th Engineer Company, received his quilt in August 2007 during the unit’s homecoming at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in Edinburgh, Ind.
Maddox was present at the November ceremony to show his gratitude, and to personally thank the women who had made his quilt. “I think it’s great these ladies are there to help Soldiers like me,” Maddox said. “It’s great to know people still care to help.”
Twenty-three women work together at the Community Church of Columbus Mondays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., making quilts. “It is our way of honoring our injured service members with an “eternal hug” of a custom-made quilt,” said Joyce Jones, a Quilts of Valor Foundation volunteer.
“We bring all of our own machines and work with donated materials for our quilts,” Jones continued. “A lot of us work on the quilts even when we’re at home. This is something that our Soldiers need. We’ve totally been blessed with materials and donations.”
“Our material and equipment are donated from people in the community and all around the state,” Fruhner agreed. “We work for nothing, everything is provided for us and some work around the clock, even at home.”
To find out more about how you, your church or civic group can be a part of the Quilts of Valor Foundation please visit: http://www.QoVF.org/.
By Spc. William E. Henry