Kilgore Quilts of Valor presents gifts to four veterans

The local chapter of Quilts of Valor presented handmade quilts to four veterans in Kilgore today.
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 3:43 PM CST

KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - They have served the country, and some think they need a hug. The local chapter of Quilts of Valor presented handmade quilts to four veterans in Kilgore today. It’s their way of supplying a hug to a veteran whenever they need one.

Sharon Jennings lives in Hallsville and is part of the Country Patches Quilt Guild based in Longview, but she and her group also take part in the national organization Quilts of Valor.

“Well, it’s a quilt that we make patriotic, usually a patriotic theme, and we present them to veterans that have been touched by war,” Jennings said.

She said they have served veterans from World War Two to Afghanistan as she explained how the program works.

“There are quilters all over the United States that are part of the Quilts of Valor Foundation in every state, every city. So, they get their own together and present them in their area,” Jennings said.

In the East Texas area, Army Veterans Rachel Angelo, Seth Simmons, Christopher Sizemore and Samuel Wedgeworth were recipients. The foundation was started when a woman named Catherine Roberts had a dream.

She dreamed “about her son who was serving in Iraq, and saw a soldier sitting there with his head down, and then saw him wrapped in a quilt and just feeling so comforted and everything. So, she just decided to start doing that,” Jennings said.

“A lot of things go through your mind when somebody says, ‘Thank you for your service.’ They understand that they’re not going to understand, but they try to make you as comfortable as possible. And, that’s what I really think this Quilt of Valor is all about. You’ve always got something around you. You always have support. You have people who actually care: servicemen and women haven’t always had that, you know, coming home, but now we do,” Simmons said.

That’s the dream that has come to fruition several times at Eagle Eye Firearms, owned by Veteran Brad Clark, himself a recipient of a Quilt of Valor. Outside his shop, the American flag was flying, partially wrapped around the pole in all the wind. Seems appropriate somehow.

Since its inception in 2003, Quilts of Valor has presented over 336,000 quilts to comfort veterans touched by war in the U.S., Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Veteran Seth Simmons, Quiltmaker Sharon Jennings and Eagle Eye Firearms Owner Brad Clark talk about the Quilts of Valor organization.