By SALLY SEXTON
The feeling of a homemade quilt can trigger several things — a feeling of warmth, security and comfort.
One organization, the Quilts of Valor Foundation, is on a mission to bring those things to service members and veterans all over the nation.
One local man got to experience those feelings first hand last week.
Les Carnley, who spent 15 years in the Army and served overseas in Iraq, was presented a quilt Friday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post 4746.
“I am so blessed to get to do this,” said Debbie Black, a sewist for Quilts of Valor and the presenter Friday night. “I’m a huge fan of our country and the people that help protect it.”
Nominated by his mother, Pamela Dobbs, and father, Danny Carnley, Les Carnley served under current VFW Commander Vick Graham and “did an excellent job as a tank commander.”
Carnley’s brother, Royce, a fellow serviceman, was also given a quilt but was unable to attend.
Once the quilt was brought out, it was passed around the room for people to touch and, if wanted, for fellow veterans to pass words upon it.
“One quilt takes anywhere from 50 to 60 hours to make,” Black said. “In the last 10 and a half years, Quilts of Valor has produced 101,034 quilts that have been registered and presented to worthy servicemen and veterans.”
The quilt organization took off in 2003 when a Blue Star mom wanted warriors to be welcomed home with the honor and comfort they deserve, Black said.
Black read a letter of appreciation from an Army solider who received a quilt of valor while in ICU in Germany.
“I just want to thank you so much,” the soldier wrote. “When I received this, I was in a dark place. It’s nice to know there are people out there thinking of me.”
Quilts of Valor are presented to servicemen who are either active, retired or non-active. Quilts may also be donated in honor of a serviceman who has passed.
To find out more about the organization, visit www.qovf.org.