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