Women spend Veterans Day making Quilts of Valor
LEWES, Del. – A group of women spent their Veterans Day trying to make the men and women who have served in the armed forces feel special, and for some of those women, the cause is close to their hearts.
“I retired in 2003 and I did thirty years in the service at Air Force in active duty and reserves,” Barbara Austin said.
“Retired air force and air force reserve for 25 years, and I was explosive ordinance disposal,” Mary Kokoszka added.
Barbara and Mary spent years serving our country, sacrificing decades of their own lives on the front lines. Now, the two women are giving back in a different way.
“It’s a great thing to do, to thank the veterans for what they do for us,” Barbara said.
Barbara is talking about quilting, specifically, making quilts of valor. It’s something that both her and Mary do to give thanks to veterans across Delaware.
“It means so much because you have to consider the women that work on these quilts, they donate their time, their materials, their talents, their skills,” Mary said.
These quilts are made specially for veterans, as a way to physically comfort them, and to say thank you for your service. And the process of stitching these together is a long one.
“They’re cut up, they’re made into blocks, and there’s various patterns, it’s not just the same thing,” Mary said.
And when Mary and Barbara say these quilts mean the world to veterans, they’re both speaking from personal experience. Both women received a quilt after their decades of service.
“It made me feel fantastic, it was the best thing ever, it was comforting, and it was healing, because I went through a lot,” Mary said.
“It was awesome, very, I mean, just overwhelming comfort from it,” Barbara added.
So for these women, giving that comfort to a fellow veteran is worth every stitch that goes into these blankets.
“The time we put in is a lot of time, but we are here to thank the veterans for what they do for us, and we’re grateful and happy to do it,” Barbara said.