by Brian Zylstra | June 12th, 2013
The Secretary of State’s next office exhibit will feature quilts that salute American combat troops.
Thirteen beautiful handmade quilts created by volunteer quilters from around Washington will be on display in the Secretary of State’s front lobby during the month of July. The office is on the second floor of the Legislative Building in Olympia. The office is open Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The quilts are part of the national Quilts of Valor program.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who comes from a family of quilters and is the wife of an Army retiree, enthusiastically supports having this exhibit in her office.
“These quilts are not only very well done, they convey the appreciation and admiration that so many Americans have toward our troops who have braved combat overseas,” Wyman said. “I encourage military families, quilters and everyone else to see this special exhibit while it’s in our office.”
The free exhibit’s opening ceremony will be Tuesday, July 2, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Office of the Secretary of State’s front lobby. The public is invited. While some of the 13 quilts are already promised to specific recipients, our staff will award at least five of them to veterans at the opening ceremony. For more information about the event, call (360) 902-4126.
The Quilts of Valor program began in 2003. The program’s mission is to cover all warriors and combat veterans who have been touched by war or wounded with healing and comforting Quilts of Valor.
The quilts are awarded at many different levels. But no matter how a Quilt of Valor is given, its impact is profound. As one recipient, an Army staff sergeant in Iraq, said, “My quilt isn’t another military medal to be placed in a box and sit on my shelf. I was moved to tears.”
Several other veterans have expressed their appreciation for their quilt:
“I never said thank you for the quilt. I got it in Germany and find myself attached to it like a 1 yr old woobie. I am a Scout Sniper in the Marine Corps so I am not a touchy feely guy, but the blanket is a wonderful gift. Thank you for your compassion.”
“Sometimes we forget that people care and this was GREAT!!! I feel the love from the quilt. And please understand that you are worth everything that I’ve been thru. And again thank you very much and God Bless.”
“I’m in the Army and was injured while serving in Iraq. I will spare the details since it is hard for me, but one of the things that makes it easier is the fine quilt you have made for me. It not only keeps me warm when I’m cold, it keeps my heart warm too. This may seem childish, but when I get scared with the memories of war, I curl up in the quilt and everything goes away. It makes me and the hundreds of wounded I’ve seen feel better knowing there are people in the states that care about us and what we do.”
“I received a ‘quilt of valor’ when I arrived from ICU in Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. The reason it meant so much to me is because when I arrived here I came with nothing at all. I was in fear for my health and what would become of me. To me the quilt symbolizes all of the support and prayers that we soldiers are getting from back home, personally for myself as well as all the troops who can’t make it to the computer to email you, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”