The winners have been selected! Fifteen of your neighbors in the community will be honored with a Beacon Award on Nov. 17 at WoodWinds. Join the celebration.
Military Veterans Wrapped in Quilts of Valor in Branford
Wrapped in their newly-received Quilts of Valor at Branford VFW Post 12106 on Dec. 3 are (l-r): Francis Allen, Royal Canadian Navy; Dave Langhran, U.S. Marines: Don Timothy, U.S. Navy; Don Langlois, U.S. Navy; Dennis Zemke, U.S. Army; Harvey Goldstein, U.S. Air Force and Walter (Bud) Wyllie, U.S. Navy (Photo courtesy Chuck Larkins)
Unique patterns were selected to represent the military service of each veteran. (Photo courtesy Chuck Larkins)
In Branford, seven veterans of the Armed Services spanning military actions of over 60 years - from the Korean War to the Iraq War eras - were recently wrapped quilts made especially for them to honor their military service. On Dec. 3, a Quilts of Valor (QOV) Ceremony was emceed by QOV Foundation Connecticut (QOVF/CT) State Coordinator Jane Dougherty, a Branford resident.
The ceremony, hosted by Branford Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Walter Dymarczyk Memorial Post 12106, was attended by family members there to share in the moment when each unique quilt was shown for the first time and then wrapped around their military service veteran.
Assisting in coordinating the gathering was North Branford U.S. Air Force veteran – and QOVF/CT volunteer quilter -- Chuck Larkins. Larkins has made and contributed several QOV quilts over the years. This round of quilts was produced by volunteer quilters from across three organizations, he said.
One quilt was built by a QOVF/CT volunteer, five were made by volunteers of Shoreline Quilters Guild of Branford (which meets at the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library in Stony Creek), and the seventh quilt, built with an "O Canada" design, was constructed by a quilter who originally hails from Novia Scotia; and wrapped around a veteran of Royal Canadian Navy, said Larkins.
"Quilts of Valor is international, and there is a Quilts of Valor/Canada. The quilter was Denise Daley, who's also from Nova Scotia, Canada," said Larkins.
Each of the veterans received hand-made quilts with patterns chosen especially for them. The veterans wrapped during the Dec. 3 ceremony were Francis Allen, Royal Canadian Navy; Dave Laughran, U.S. Marines; Don Timothy, U.S. Navy; Don Langlois, U.S. Navy, Dennis Zemke, U.S. Army; Harvey Goldstein, U.S. Air Force and Walter (Bud) Wyllie, U.S. Navy.
Langlois is also the current commander of Branford American Legion Post 83. Laughran is a member of Branford VFW Post 12106.
QOV is an internet-based organization started by the mom of a soldier during his deployment to Iraq in 2003. The mission of QOV is provide comfort and support to military veterans, as well as to thank them for their service, with each hand-made quilt that is bestowed.
According to www.qovf.org QOV has given away 240,000 quilts to date, all made by volunteers, to veterans in all 50 states.