Quilts of Valor Foundation began in 2003 with a dream, literally a dream. Founder Catherine Roberts’ son Nat was deployed in Iraq.
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 was: Quilts = Healing.
The model appeared simple: have a volunteer team who would donate their time and materials to make a quilt. One person would piece the top and the other would quilt it. I saw the name for this special quilt: it was Quilt of Valor, a QOV.
“Not everyone answers the call to serve our country. It is those rare individuals who are selfless enough to sacrifice so much so we can all enjoy the freedom we have. We’ll never know exactly what each veteran experiences and how they are touched by war. But we can welcome our veterans home, support them and their families, and thank them for their service whenever possible.” Lori Thompson, Executive Director 2021 – Present
The state coordinator for the Quilts of Valor is Christine Hurley. She has been a volunteer with the Quilts of Valor Foundation since 2013. Since May 2015 she has been the Indiana state coordinator (SC). She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Robert.
Christine served in the United States Air Force during the Cold War. She was stationed in Montgomery, Ala. (Gunter AFB); the Republic of South Korea (Kunsan AB); and in San Angelo, Texas (Goodfellow AFB). Later, she served with the Indiana Air National Guard at Hulman Field near Terre Haute, Ind.
During her time in the U.S. Air Force, she was a law enforcement specialist – now known as “Security Forces.” Christine is also an independent member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She is also a 2015 past president of the Quilters Guild of Indianapolis and enjoys quilting and the many wonderful friends she has met through quilting. Christine enjoys awarding Quilts of Valor to our Hoosier veterans.
Christine and her group of quilters awarded three Quilts of Valor on Saturday, Feb. 4. Two of them were to retired members of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. The third recipient was a member of the U.S. Air Force. Captain Clyde E. Kerr, U.S. Army (retired) was a career soldier with the U.S. Army with deployments to Vietnam during the TET offensive, where he served as a military advisor, South Korea and many stateside locations and training schools. During his military service he received the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Medal and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
Chief Master Sergeant Jay Collars, U.S. Air Force (retired) served from 1955 to 1980. He had many deployments including two to Vietnam, Thailand and numerous stateside locations and training schools. During his military service he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star w/V device for Valor and Heroism, and eight Air Medals which included 85 combat missions. He also earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the National Defense Medal.
Airman First Class Barbara J. Kinney-Klein, U.S. Air Force did what many patriotic individuals did – they signed up to defend our country during the Vietnam era. Barbara attained the rank of Airman First Class and had trained to be a Radio Specialist and was named Radio Operator of 1974 at her military assignment.
We thank all three of these veterans for coming forward and defending our country during the time of the Vietnam War.