By Ashley Wicker
My mother is a quilter. If anyone reading this knows a quilter or happens to be one yourself, you know that this is more a way of life than a hobby.
Every important occasion in our family merits a quilt. Getting married? Quilt. Having a baby? Quilt. When you fly and look down on Midwestern corn and bean fields, what do you see? Mom sees potential quilt patterns.
Lately, barns have her very excited, because farmers (and the quilters in their lives) have started hanging pretty quilt patterns from their haylofts. When my youngest son was about 2, he would announce any cows, goats or chickens he saw on a country drive. Now, I can count on my mom yelling out a barn quilt with the same childlike excitement. Mom would quilt for world peace if the United Nations asked her.
November is an important month in our country, because it’s the month we celebrate Veterans Day. How do you recognize Veterans Day? Of course, my mom would say, “I’ve got a quilt for that!”
The Quilts of Valor Foundation is an organization that seeks out and honors veterans by making and giving them handmade quilts. The foundation’s motto is “Quilting to Honor and Comfort.” I like that. Here’s a group of people with a passion for sewing something with their own hands to make someone else feel better. To date, Quilts of Valor has given away over 165,000 quilts.
Let’s go back to the question, “How do you recognize Veterans Day?” Or better yet, how do you recognize veterans? We live in a time in our nation’s history when veterans can look very different from one another.
Our nation’s veterans are handsome 90-year-old WWII veterans; hardworking-and-stoic Korean War veterans; proud-but-quiet Vietnam War veterans; and even many of our 25-year-old grandsons and granddaughters who’ve served overseas and at home, during wartime and at peace.
The men and women who’ve served our country have done so in my name, in your name. How can you recognize them today? How can you tell them that you see them and understand what they mean to our country?
We can’t all make quilts. But we can buy cups of coffee. We can shake hands or – if appropriate – give a hug. We can all say thank you.
Find an organization in your community that reaches out to veterans. Offer whatever special skill you might have to their cause. If you bake, bake. If you woodwork, woodwork.
Share yourself with a veteran so they know you care. It’s the very least any of us can do to honor and comfort the heroes around us.
Ashley Wicker is a community and broker liaison at Reid Health Alliance Medicare. Born and raised in Fayette County, she’s a devoted mother who enjoys the outdoors, cooking and the arts.
At Reid Health Alliance Medicare, our team is here to partner with you and help the members of the communities we serve together. For us, it’s all about helping community members make sure they have the information they need every step of the way as they navigate through the healthcare coverage system and life in general. Have a community outreach need or upcoming event we should be a part of? Or like this article? Feel free to respond to Ashley.Wicker@HealthAlliance.org. Thanks for reading!