World War II Veterans Wrapped in Quilts of Valor

Author: Maine Veterans' Homes
Posted: July 22, 2019

Quilts can be a symbol of comfort, even healing, and that was the idea behind a ceremony at Maine Veterans’ Homes - Augusta July 3, where friends and family wrapped quilts around 14 World War II veterans.

Quilts of Valor

In 2003, Catherine Roberts, whose son was deployed to Iraq, started Quilts of Valor. She dreamed that he sat on the edge of his bed, “war demons” clustered around him, said Sharon Paradis, member of the nationwide organization’s Maine chapter.

The dream continued, and Roberts saw her son wrapped in a quilt, which fended off those demons. The soldier’s demeanor changed from one of despair to hope and healing.

Originally designed to “cover” Iraq war veterans, the organization has expanded to include all touched by war and has distributed more than 220,000 Quilts of Valor.

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Quilts of Valor at Maine Veterans’ Homes

Paradis and fellow quilter Ann Thomas, both of Augusta, thought it was important to cover the community’s eldest veterans first.

It was November 2018 when Paradis read an article about Quilts of Valor in the Kennebec Journal. The project motivated her to become involved, and eight months later, she was participating in her first quilt ceremony at Maine Veterans’ Homes - Augusta the day before the Fourth of July.

Activities coordinator Ramona Boucher said there are 25 World War II veterans at the Augusta Home; Paradis hopes to come back in June to cover the veterans who didn’t receive quilts during her first visit. 

“There was such a sense of pride and honor in talking about their loved ones,” Boucher said of family members invited to the ceremony.

Why did Paradis and Thomas choose residents at Maine Veterans’ Homes to be recipients of their first round of quilts?

“These are our Maine veterans,” Paradis said. “We thought of them first.”

Home administrator Jacob Andersen stepped in to assist the veterans when needed. 

“To see our World War II veterans honored in this way, wrapped in these patriotic quilts, was a humbling experience,” he said. “It’s a day we won’t forget.”

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