A quilt can do more than just keep a chill away by offering both mental and physical comfort, and the case of quilts made by the Palo Verde Patchers in Sun City West, remind a veteran that his country cares about him.
The Patchers participate in a national program called Quilts of Valor, sewing intracate, patriotic quilts for veterans of any war, said club member Patsy Taylor.
“As of right now, we have sent off 132 quilts,” Taylor said, adding that the quilts were sent to locales as far as Philidelphia, and even a field hospital in Bagram, Afghanistan.
The project focuses on gifting the quilts to veterans who were injured in combat, whether that be a physical injury like the loss of a limb, or mental, like post-traumatic stress disorder, Taylor said.
“The one thing that a lot of them say is ‘We didn’t think anyone cared,’” Taylor said. “It’s just something very small to help show our men and women in the service that we do support them.”
Once the group finished a quilt, they would contact the national project headquarters to see where they should send it, but shipping costs got too high, Taylor said, so now the Patchers focus more on finding local veterans.
"Anybody who's been touched by war,” Taylor said, “our focus is on those who have been hurt.”
Taylor and Banton recently presented a quilt to an 88-year-old World War II veteran in Prescott, who almost lost his arm in the fight at Iwo Jima, and when he was discharged from the Army, he learned to fly a plane and joined the Air Force instead.
Now that the group is working with veterans closer to home, Taylor said she has been making an effort to learn the war stories of each veteran.
“We’re pretty proud of what we put out,” Taylor said. “And we’re even more proud when we get to meet these people.”
If you know a deserving veteran, or would like to financially assist the club with donations for quilting supplies and fabric, contact Patsy Taylor at 623-547-7895.