Monday, February 27, 2012

Shared by Sharon

I think I need to share this experience with all of our QOVer's.  Last fall
I made a QOV for an acquaintance and member of our golf club.  He is a
Vietnam Veteran and he told me, many months ago, that he had burned all of
his medals, uniforms, etc.  He also shared that he personally had paid for
and undergone extensive psychiatric treatment.  He said he wanted nothing
to remind him of any of it.

When the quilt was ready, I called him and asked if he would accept the
quilt, made by me especially for him.  His answer was no - give it to
someone else.  He was not worthy to receive a quilt but was 100% behind the
QOV program.  I told him I respected his decision and the quilt was passed
to the next recipient.

This past Friday night my husband and I went to the club for dinner.  I ran
into my friend at the door.  He gave me a BIG hug and asked if I still had
"his" quilt.
We talked at length and I learned a very valuable lesson from this man.  He
said he had been touched when I called.  He said he had been doing a lot of
thinking and soul searching since my call.  He SAID - Quilts of Valor are
being given for "All the right reasons".  He would, he said, accept a QOV.
I shared I had a special one I had made.  His name is going on it.

In addition, he shared the "Right reasons"!   When you have been in a
position of having to take the life of another human being - you ARE NOT a
hero.  He said I had never used the term hero.  He said, hero's save lives
they do not take them.  I agree 100% with him.  I have always made it a
habit of never using the term but what I do say is the quilts are
comforting and healing.  Having been in the position of personally
presenting in the neighborhood of 500 QOV's to members of all wars, I am
very sensitive to the feelings of these men and women.

So, when you want to add "Hero" to the label or the letter, think about
what it really means to these soldiers.  We will probably never know the
horrors these soldiers faced, they have protected us from that too.

Sharon - ID Coordinator


  1. Thanks for sharing his story, Sharon. I'm so glad he rethought his position and will now accept a Quilt of Valor. He is precisely the person who needs one most. When we say 'Freedom isn't Free' I know it encompasses a whole host of 'costs', but I can't help feeling that the psychological our Warriors pay for us is the highest. I will pray this quilt brings him a long delayed healing that the psychiatrist couldn't effect.

  2. I do the same thing Sharon. Thank you for sharing this! Whenever I talk to groups or individuals I always let them know that a QOV is for Comforting and Honoring. That hits home. I know too many who do not "see" themselves as "Heroes".

    This is a very touching and wonderful story!

  3. Thanks for the reminder - you are right we will never know what they have been through. I have a daughter who has served in Iraq and I have heard some of her stories but I know that I will never hear them all and that is probably a good thing as a mother. We have to respect how each person handles what they have been through. The biggest problem that the Vietnam Vets faced was not be appreciated or accepted for their service and this diminished their service and made them feel inferior. Thanks for making just one Vietnam Vet feel valued again.