By Lora Fegler, Health Alliance
My mother is a quilter. If anyone reading this knows a quilter or happens to be one yourself, you know that this is more a way of life than a hobby.
Every important occasion in our family merits a quilt. Getting married? Quilt. Having a baby? Quilt. When you fly and look down on Midwestern corn and bean fields, what do you see? Mom sees potential quilt patterns.
Lately, barns have her very excited, because farmers (and the quilters in their lives) have started hanging pretty quilt patterns from their haylofts. When my youngest son was about two, he would announce any cows, goats, or chickens he saw on a country drive. Now, I can count on my mom yelling out a barn quilt with the same childlike excitement. Mom would quilt for world peace if the United Nations asked her.
November is an important month in our country because it’s the month we celebrate Veterans Day. How do you recognize Veterans Day? Of course, my mom would say, “I’ve got a quilt for that!”
The Quilts of Valor Foundation is an organization that seeks out and honors veterans by making and giving them handmade quilts. Their foundation’s motto is “Quilting to Honor and Comfort.” I like that. Here is a group of people with a passion for sewing something with their own two hands to make someone else feel better. To date, Quilts of Valor has given away over 165,000 quilts.
Let’s go back to the question, how do you recognize Veterans Day? Or better yet, do you recognize veterans? We live in a time in our nation’s history when veterans can look very different from one another.
Our nation’s veterans are handsome 90-year-old WWII veterans, hardworking and stoic Korean War veterans, proud but quiet Vietnam veterans, or even 25-year-old grandsons and granddaughters.
The men and women who served our country have done so in my name, in your name. How can you recognize them today? How can you tell them that you see them and understand what they mean to our country?
We can’t all make quilts, but we can buy cups of coffee. We can shake hands, or if appropriate, give a hug. We can all say thank you.
Here are some organizations that reach out to veterans. See if you can find one in your community and offer whatever special skill you might have to their cause. If you bake, bake. If you woodwork, woodwork.
Share yourself with a veteran so they know you care. It’s the very least any of us can do to honor and comfort the heroes around us.
- Wounded Warrior Project
- The American Legion
- Honor Flight Network
- Vietnam Veterans of America
- United Service Organizations
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Disabled American Veterans
- Gary Sinise Foundation
Lora Felger is a community and broker liaison at Health Alliance. She is the mother of two terrific boys, a world traveler, and a major Iowa State Cyclones fan.