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Reservists deliver "Quilts of Valor" to injured troops.

A South Carolina group belonging to the national organization Quilts of Valor recently donated 12 quilts to the 315th Airlift Wing. Since 2004, the local group has donated more than 1,200 quilts, which took the quilters hundreds of thousands of hours to make.

On a trip to Germany's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in October, members of the 315th AW's public affairs office personally presented the quilts to the hospital's chaplain and followed him as he delivered each quilt to an injured service member who had been evacuated from either Iraq or Afghanistan. Landstuhl is the first stop for injured service members when returning to the United States.

"Thank you so much for this lovely quilt," said one wounded warrior. "It will find its place of honor on my bed in Kentucky. It will be a reminder to me that we do live in the richest country--rich in love for our fellow humans--where a person would make this terrific quilt for someone she will probably never meet. I will cherish this quilt for the rest of my life."

The admiration for the quilt makers did not stop with the injured servicemen. Family members expressed their gratitude as well.

"To the many kind hearts and souls of Quilts of Valor, your quilt warmed our family in more ways than you can imagine," said the spouse of another wounded warrior.

Formed in 2004 with only seven members, the South Carolina Quilts of Valor group today has grown to more than 50 people from across the Lowcountry. The backgrounds of these individuals vary as much as the quilts they create. Some have children in the military, and some have served in the military themselves. Some are content making just one quilt, while others average one per month.

"The time we spend making quilts is insignificant compared to the sacrifices being made by each of these military men and women," said Donnita Cook, a Quilts of Valor participant.

Another member of the organization said there is one key reason members pour so much time and love into each quilt.

"The quilts let them know they haven't been forgotten," said Cheryl Wheeler. "It's an opportunity to say thank you for their war efforts and thank you for protecting us."

For information on South Carolina Quilts of Valor, visit the website (2nd Lt. Jeff Kelly, 315th AW public affairs)
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Title Annotation:ROUND THE RESERVE
Publication:Citizen Airman
Geographic Code:1U5SC
Date:Dec 1, 2011
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