73-year-old Vietnam veteran Robert Crim of Golconda, Ill., wasn’t expecting to leave the AQS quilt show yesterday with a quilt of his own, but a spur-of-the-moment surprise changed his plans.
Freedom Star United provides military and patriotic fabrics and kits used to make quilts for Quilts of Valor and Operation Homefront. The organizations award combat veterans with quilts for their service. Freedom Star United owner Deb Granger says the quilts are made by volunteers and quilt guilds usually near the hometown of the veteran.
Granger saw Crim sporting a disabled veteran hat and told him she had something for him. Applause erupted around the Army veteran as Granger awarded Crim with the quilt.
“We totally appreciate what you have done for us and our country,” said Granger as she presented Crim the quilt.
Crim replied to the gift saying, “This here is the first time I have ever been presented anything for my service. But, I sure appreciate them doing this for me."
It was an emotional moment for Granger.
"That is exactly why we do what we do,” she said. “And, I can’t do enough for them, I can’t thank them enough."
Quilts can be requested from Quilts of Valor at www.qovf.org for a veteran. The annual quilt show in Paducah runs through Saturday.