World War II veteran, Odell Jones, and Vietnam veteran, Charles Hudson, were honored with a presentation from the Quilts of Valor Foundation at a ceremony held on Tuesday, May 22.
World War II veteran, Odell Jones, and Vietnam veteran, Charles Hudson, were honored with a presentation from the Quilts of Valor Foundation at a ceremony held on Tuesday, May 22. Nearly 50 people filled Jones Outpost restaurant in Montreal, to witness the two local men receive special quilts made to honor our nation's veterans.
Started in 2003 by a "Blue Star" military mother named Catherine Roberts, a mid-Missouri chapter would follow suit in 2008. Representative and quilt maker from Columbia, Laura Devenney, was on hand to present two handmade quilts to Jones, 91, and Hudson, 73.
The honor came to the duo after being nominated to the foundation by Jane and Ernie Calvert, Sr. of Camdenton.
Telling stories of his time in France during World War II from 1945-46, Jones acknowledged all veterans who have served.
"I want to thank everyone who had a hand is this ordeal, but I want every veteran here to stand up today, because this is not a one man show, they were all in on it, too," Jones said.
After the ceremony, Jones said that it felt wonderful to not only receive the honor, but to have all of his fantastic family and friends there to take part.
"All I can say is thank you," Hudson said after receiving his special patriotic quilt.
Serving in Vietnam from 1966-67, Hudson said after the ceremony that the negative stigma that surrounded that particular war was hard to deal with.
"The first time I ever felt appreciated for being associated with that war was while taking part in a veteran's parade in Naples, Florida, about 20 years ago," Hudson said. "It was a very nice honor and I am proud to have been a recipient of such a special gift."
Giving away over 1,000 quilts thus far in the state of Missouri, the Quilts of Valor Foundation has given away more than 140,000 quilts nationwide since its inception.All quilts are pieced and sewn by volunteers and each costs around $180 in materials to make.
The two quilts given to Jones and Hudson were pieced together by June Wood of Sedalia and quilted by Anne Snyder of Camdenton.
Devenney herself makes one quilt a week to contribute to Missouri veterans. According to the Quilts of Valor Foundation website, each quilt is made of three layers which represent individuality, warmth and strength. Each stitch that holds the layers together represents love, gratitude and the sometimes tears of the maker.
Given to honor military members and give them "comfort" for their service and sacrifice; the quilting foundation's mission is to 'cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing.'
To find out more about this non-profit organization, visit the Quilts of Valor Foundation, Facebook page.