Quilts of Valor: Calcasieu Cut Ups Quilt Guild presents ‘thank you’ quilts to area veterans

Published 1:12 am Friday, November 4, 2022

The Calcasieu Cut Ups Quilt Guild is on a mission. Through the group’s affiliation with the Quilts of Valor Foundation, they are doing their part to see that every U.S. Military Service member and veteran receives a quilt.

On Thursday, the group draped their latest batch of quilts around the shoulders of veterans in a ceremony at First Baptist Church of Moss Bluff. The quilts are presented as a thank you for each recipient’s service, whether past or present.

The idea for Quilts of Valor began in 2003. Catherine Roberts, a quilter, had a dream about providing a comforting quilt to her son who was deployed in Iraq. Since then, over 312,000 Quilts of Valor have been awarded.

Roberts described a Quilt of Valor as “the civilian equivalent of a Purple Heart award.”

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Veterans at Thursday’s ceremony were told, “Though we may never know the depth of your sacrifice to protect and defend the United States of America, this Quilt of Valor says ‘thank you,’ for your service, dedication and valor in serving our nation.”

The quilts are machine washable, and the veterans encouraged to use them and not stash them away as a keepsake.

At 94, World War II U.S. Navy veteran Archie Thomas of Carlyss was the oldest recipient in attendance.

“Seventy-seven years ago today, I was in the South Pacific,” he said. He remembers President Harry Truman coming to visit them, and he remembers the heat. “It was always 120 degrees. When President Truman came we had to dress up and it was even hotter.”

He served aboard the USS Alcyone.

Thomas was excited to receive his quilt.

“I have a man cave, and that’s where it’s going. It will be perfect,” he said.

Other veterans receiving quilts include Herbert P. Pete, R.L. Marcantel, Robert Roger, Joseph Kennedy, Scott Trahan, Heather Webb, Leon Charles Fast Jr., Amos LeBleu, Scott Wilkerson, Ray Guidry, Kermit R. Manuel II, Chris Gaspard, Jeff Nolen, James Kudrecki, Herbert D. Pete, Tyler Manuel, Brent Hale and Jean Dimas. Not all could be present Thursday, but they will get their quilts.

The Calcasieu Cut Ups Quilt Guild meets on the first Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. at 276 Old Hwy 171 in the multipurpose building behind First Baptist Church, Moss Bluff.