INWOOD, W.Va. — The stories of the men and women who were featured in this year’s Unsung Heroes series in The Journal have already been told. But with the help of Quilts of Valor, a way has been found to keep sharing their stories with future generations.
The Journal’s Unsung Heroes banquet gave a chance for the military veterans to come together in a time of fellowship and share some of their stories.
South Berkeley Baptist Church hosted the banquet and served a generous meal for all of the veterans and newspaper staff.
Each veteran received a plaque of recognition for their service.
In addition, every veteran also received a quilt from Quilts of Valor, thanks to the efforts of Sue Moats and Jane Tweddell.
Tweddell summed up the impact the gifts by calling them a gift of warmth that can be passed down through generations.
“Last year at the banquet, we worked to throw together a few of these as door prizes and were amazed at the response,” Tweddell said as she recalled the memory of one Vietnam veteran being brought to tears with his quilt.
Tweddell said Quilts of Valor then worked year round to ensure that every veteran at this year’s Unsung Heroes would walk away with a quilt.
“I don’t want to be associated with the quilt. I just want to know we’re not only giving them our hearts, but the warmth. The warmth the quilt gives is partly from the love that goes into making it,” she said.
In addition to keeping the veterans warm, Tweddell said the blankets will serve another purpose as a unique conversation piece.
“It’s something that’s actually tangible. When their grandkids see that quilt on their couch, their going to see it and say ‘hey Grandpap, where did you get that blanket?'” Tweddell said. “It’s going to spark an interest in stories and; all of a sudden, there’s a link there.”
Moats, who has been with the Quilts for Valor for almost 20 years, said she still remembers making her first quilt for her nephew, during Operation Desert Storm.
“It’s important for us to honor the veterans in this way and I feel grateful and appreciated with every quilt I make,” Moats said.
Together, Moats and Tweddell created a total of 25 quilts for the veterans.