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Quilts of Valor awarded to Cheyenne County veterans

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Rayetta J. Addy

January 12, Veterans Ralph Stansbury and Rodney Ziegler, members of VFW Post 9700 in Cheyenne Wells, received Quilts of Valor at their regular post meeting.

In 2003, while her son was deployed to Iraq, a quilter named Catherine Roberts started the movement that became known as Quilts of Valor.  It started as a dream.  According to Catherine:

The dream was as vivid as real life.  I saw a young man sitting on the side of his bed in the middle of the night, hunched over.  The permeating feeling was one of utter despair.  I could see his war demons clustered around, dragging him down into an emotional gutter.  Then, as if viewing a movie, I saw him in the next scene wrapped in a quilt.  His whole demeanor changed from one of despair to one of hope and well-being.  The quilt had made this dramatic change.  The message of my dream:  Quilts = Healing.

Since that time over 300,000 Quilts of Valor have been awarded.  Their mission is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

Each quilt is handmade and donated by volunteers across America as an expression of their gratitude that is meant to thank veterans who sacrificed so much while serving our nation in the armed forces.

Ralph Stansbury joined the United States Navy on July 17, 1966.  He did his basic training in San Diego, California and then served as a gunner’s mate on the USS Cleveland, which first saw action during the Tet Offensive in 1968.  Ralph also served on the USS Clarke County which received six campaign stars plus two awards of Meritorious Unit Commendation for Vietnam War service.  Ralph was discharged on April 1, 1970 as an E-4 Petty Officer.

Rodney Ziegler joined the United States Navy in 1968.  He did his basic training in San Diego, California and then served on the USS Constellation, a Kitty Hawk class super carrier in the Vietnam War theater.  Rod also served on the USS Hancock, an Essex class aircraft carrier that received the Navy Unit Commendation while in the Vietnam War theater.  Rod was discharged in 1972 with the rank of E-3 as an Able-Bodied Seaman.

While we can never know the sacrifice that was made while serving our nation, we want to thank Ralph and Rod for their service.  On behalf of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, we welcome them home and thank them for allowing us to recognize them for their service to our country.

These beautiful quilts were made and presented by Mary Rhoades of Kit Carson, whose goal is to make and award ten quilts each year to veterans living in Cheyenne County.  Each of her quilts is unique and made especially for a veteran.  Mary is a member of the Colorado Prairie Quilters group, who meet quarterly in Haswell to work on quilts of valor.  The group accepts donations for quilting material and supplies.  For more information, contact Mary at 719-691-9777.