Quilts of Valor cover four Shelby County warriors

Warriors covered with their Quilts of Valor: Mayor Dr. Stancil Handley shakes hand of Jeremy Walden with Roger Hughes. Joe McCormick, Kristy Cantrell and Elizabeth Mathews looking on. (contributed)

Warriors covered with their Quilts of Valor: Mayor Dr. Stancil Handley shakes hand of Jeremy Walden with Roger Hughes. Joe McCormick, Kristy Cantrell and Elizabeth Mathews looking on. (contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

“The mission of Quilt of Valor Foundation (QOVF) is to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting Quilts of Valor (QOV).”

The quilts are a tangible reminder of our nation’s thankfulness for their service, sacrifice and service.

Four Shelby County men recently were covered with Quilts of Valor at a reception at the Shelby County Arts Council led by Elizabeth Mathews, QOVF Regional 8 Coordinator, Alabama, and her daughter, Co-Coordinator Kristy Cantrell.

Columbiana Mayor Dr. Stancil Handley, Joseph McCormick, Roger D. Hughes Sr. and Jeremy Walden were presented their Quilts of Valor at a special reception at the Shelby County Arts Council building on Mildred Street in Columbiana with family and friends present.

These four men have served our nation in different ways and are representative of the 65,000 warriors who have been covered by QOVs since the project began in 2003 by Blue Star mom Catherine Roberts whose son Nathaniel was deployed to Iraq. Roberts began QOVF with her desire to see that returning warriors were welcomed home with love and gratitude with a physical show of affection, the wartime Quilt of Valor. The QOVF is now a national movement of quilters who sew with love and admiration a generous lap-size quilt for the active or veteran warrior.

Handley, a member of the U.S. Army was injured in 1979. His wife Ann requested his quilt. McCormick served in the Pacific theater during World War II, where he was a flight engineer whose B29 crashed into the ocean and he received a Purple Heart for his injuries. Daughter Janice Falkner and Sarah Atchison requested the quilt. Hughes served in Vietnam in both the US Army and Navy. Son Chris Hughes requested his quilt. Walden is an active duty member of the US Army Special Forces and has been deployed to Afghanistan. Sarah Atchison requested his quilt.

Volunteers make the quilts sometimes specifically requested as Handley’s. Often sewers make quilts in memory of their loved ones for warriors as Walden and Hughes. Local quilters Sheila Gallups and Sarah Atchison made McCormick’s quilt.

To request a Quilt of Valor for your warrior, go to Qovf.org.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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