PADUCAH, Ky., Aug. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- "To Honor and Comfort: Quilts of Valor" at the National Quilt Museum (http://www.quiltmuseum.org) offers an emotional testament to the wounds American military personnel bring back from the fields of conflict. The exhibit runs until November 10th and wraps up with an event on Veterans Day, November 11, with a ceremony to award the quilts to deserving veterans and service members.
The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. The Quilts of Valor Foundation was started in November 2003 by Catherine Roberts with the goal of making quilts that would both heal and comfort our war wounded. These quilts are called Quilts of Valor (QOVs). Wounds that qualify are those that are both seen and unseen. Chaplain John Kallerson suggested using the phrase "touched by war" as a way of identifying recipients.
Catherine served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. A marriage, two kids, and divorce later, she received her Masters at Yale in nurse-midwifery. It was after 9/11 that things changed radically for her. She retired from doing active clinical midwifery and in late 2003, started QOVF as a result of her older son, Nat's, upcoming deployment to Iraq as a gunner for his Humvee.
Knowing that she was "10 seconds from panic" while her son was deployed, Catherine had a vision of a post-deployed warrior struggling with his war demons at 2 in the morning. She saw him sitting on the side of his bed wrapped in a quilt. That quilt not only comforted but warded off his war demons. Thus the Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded.
With the assistance of Chaplain Kallerson, the very first Quilts of Valor were awarded to patients at Walter Reed Medical Center. Since that day, over 30,000 quilts have been awarded. The response to these gifts is almost universal; service members are overwhelmed with gratitude by this simple act of kindness from strangers.
Quilts of Valor generally display patriotic themes, with red, white and blue being the dominant color palette. Creativity is encouraged, though, provided the quilts are made to standard and the pattern is appropriate.
Iraq and Afghanistan could remain unstable indefinitely, meaning an ongoing deployment of service members. The number of wounded warriors continues to increase every day. By some estimates, more than 40,000 service members and veterans have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even those who are fortunate enough to return home without physical scars often face psychological demons that make civilian life a challenge.
"Veterans and active duty military personnel have performed a courageous service for this nation," says National Quilt Museum CEO Frank Bennett. "The Quilts of Valor participants perform a meaningful and wonderful service for those 'touched by war.' We're proud to host this exhibit and play a part in spreading the word about this exceptional program."
About the National Quilt Museum
The National Quilt Museum is the world's largest museum devoted to quilts and fiber art. A destination for art enthusiasts worldwide, annually the Museum welcomes visitors from all 50 U.S. states and over 40 foreign countries from all corners of the globe. The Museum's onsite and traveling exhibits are viewed by over 120,000 people per year. In addition, over 6,000 youth and adults participate in the Museum's educational opportunities on an annual basis.
The Museum is located in a 27,000-square-foot facility in Paducah, Kentucky. The Museum's mission is to, "Advance the art of today's quilters by making it accessible to new and expanding audiences worldwide." As their CEO Frank Bennett often states, "These are some of the most talented artists in the world and I want everyone to experience their work first-hand." The National Quilt Museum is a three-time TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner. It is located in Historic Downtown Paducah Kentucky, which has been named a UNESCO Creative City.
Amanda Ball, Marketing Director
National Quilt Museum
SOURCE National Quilt Museum