COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It’s a special way of saying, “Welcome Home.”
Veterans like Steve Vatali and his father Joe dedicated their lives to watching over the stars and stripes.
These same symbols are now wrapped up around them. Keeping them warm in the form a quilt.
“For us to receive this - it’s a recognition for us, but for all military. So, it’s a deep honor,” Steve, a retired Colonel, said.
The Quilts of Valor Foundation is working to wrap every service member and veteran in one of these quilts. It’s their way of saying thank you.
Anne Mixon is the State Coordinator for Quilts of Valor in South Carolina. She says sewing these quilts brings her great joy.
“It’s the least I can do for what they’ve done for me,” Mixon said.
The South Carolina chapter of Quilts of Valor is one the most active in the country. Mixon says South Carolina awarded 2,420 quilts last year.
That is 2,420 ‘thank yous’. Something that can’t be said enough for some of our veterans.
“We have a whole era of veterans, when they came home we were not kind to them,” Mixon said.
The volunteers put in hundreds of hours of work, using their own materials, for that special moment when they get to see the smile on a veteran’s face.
“It’s nice to know something that I made could bring comfort to somebody,” Mixon said.
That somebody could be like Steve or Joe, or Phyllis and Thaddius White.
Heroes getting a special thank you.
“When a perfect stranger spends more than a hundred hours on something and says thank you for my freedom. It has a whole different meaning,” Mixon says.
There is an exhibit of quilts over at the South Carolina State Library that will be up until January.
There are five more award ceremonies scheduled through January as well.
If you’d like to nominate someone for a quilt or want to get involved, you can find more information here.