Hometown Heroes - Quilts of Valor

Quilts for veterans
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 3:52 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A quilting guild in Southwest Louisiana has been providing handmade quilts to military veterans for many years. Members of the Calcasieu Cut-Ups get together a few times each month to work on the quilts, which are presented to veterans who have served their country.

It can get emotional.

“If they cry, we cry,” said quilter C.J. Long. “I can tell you that it’s an honest fact. It’s touching and they have tears in their eyes because no one ever thought about them or nobody ever appreciated them. Or maybe it’s just the love we have for them.”

They take part in the Quilts of Valor, a national program with local chapters. Military veterans are presented with handmade patriotic colored quilts to thank them for their service. Deb Fleming says they get together twice a month to put the quilts together and make presentations throughout the year.

“It’s very emotional to present a Quilt of Valor to a person,” said Fleming. “You don’t know where they are in life. We’ve had people who were very ill and all of a sudden they are very quiet. It was almost to where I was crying.”

Ellie Perez says they make these quilts to be used and not stored away as keepsakes.

“We have heard back from one or two that did that,” said Perez, an Army veteran and now quilter. “We try to encourage them to use their quilts. My quilt sits on the back of my chair and when I’m cold, I pull it down and cover up.”

“They appreciate that someone was thinking of them,” said Long. “Thanking them for what they gave. Whether they’ve been injured or can’t walk good, can’t hear good, or whatever. They really appreciate that someone’s thinking of them. I think we’ve gotten away from a lot of that in our country.”

Many of the quilts are even used when the veteran passes away, as a patriotic display of their military service. For more information on Quilts of Valor locally, contact Deb Fleming at 337-302-0670.