Quilts of Valor volunteers and Sew What Quilt Shop owners Carol Riggs, Jan Meysinger, and Paula Perry traveled to Fort Riley on April 11 to help present more than 600 quilts to soldiers returning from Afghanistan.
Quilts of Valor — Kansas Bee presented 548 quilts to soldiers of the 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Division who had just returned from Afghanistan, and more than 100 to another recently returned unit, Riggs said Friday.
“It was fabulous. That was so much fun,” she said. “My job was basically putting their names on the quilts.”
Soldiers got to choose their quilts, rather than receiving them by luck of the draw, Riggs said. Many of the soldiers said the quilts reminded them of their grandmothers.
“Some of the soldiers had tears in their eyes, to think that there’s that much support,” she said. “They were all talking — lots of hugs and handshakes.”
Riggs said one of the volunteers at the presentation was able to have her picture taken with a soldier who chose a quilt the volunteer had made.
Riggs said the presentation wasn’t as emotional as she expected but was more fun, probably because of the large number of quilts presented. She said she has cried all the way through presentations with a small number of soldiers.
She estimated there were 20 to 30 quilts made in the Marion and Hillsboro area that were presented April 11. Quilts of Valor is an ongoing project.
“There is always a need for more quilts,” Riggs said.