Friday, November 5, 2021

Quilt of Valors presented in Exeter


James Stevens Junior

                                                                    James Stevens Senior

On Wednesday, Oct. 27, Exeter resident James Stevens, Sr. was draped with a Quilt of Valor in his home along with his son, James Stevens, Jr.


Pat Becker, a member of the Quilt of Valor program, presented the quilts to the Stevens’.  The quilt for Stevens Sr. was pieced by Carol Kuska Lepzig and quilted by Carol Votipka Harris.  The quilt for Stevens Jr. was pieced by Carol Kuska Lepzig and quilted by Diane Henke.  Becker finished the binding on both of the quilts.


The beautiful patriotic themed quilts were wrapped around the Stevens’ in the home of James Stevens, Sr.


Becker explained that the program was started in 2003 when QOV founder Catherine Roberts’ son was deployed in Iraq.  A dream gave her the idea that quilts from home would be comforting to those serving and so she began to make them to award to active military along with veterans.  


Roberts created a non-profit foundation to guide the project.  Since 2003 over 275,000 quilts have been awarded to those who have served.


It was Roberts’ dream that the quilts would be recognized as a “civilian purple heart.” 


Becker added in presenting the quilt, “As a grateful nation to thank you for your time in military service. . .and for putting your life on hold for serving your country.”


Stevens Sr. served in three branches of the military.  He first enlisted in the Army in 1957 and in February headed to basic training at Fort Riley, KS.  When he came back home he realized “that wasn’t working.”


From there Stevens Sr. signed up to serve in the Air Force and served from 1957 to 1961.  He served in Korea from July of 1960 to August of 1961 as civil engineer.  He did a lot of surveying while he was there. 


When he returned home he joined the See Bees (United States Naval Construction Battalions – C.B. he was under the Marine Corp.) and was part of the reserves in Lincoln.  He served as a mechanic and was honorably discharged from three service branches.


His son, Stevens, Jr., enlisted in the Navy in 1977 and served until 1983.  He went to basic training in Great Lakes, Ill.  He then was sent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina were he trained as a combat field medic.  In 1980 he was sent to Camp Pendleton, Calif. And remained there until 1982 when he returned home and served in the active reserves.


Again Becker thanked both of the Stevens for their service, “Use this quilt. Don’t put it in a box.  We want you to be comforted by the quilt. Mere words cannot express thank you for putting your life on hold for the fulfillment of duty to a thankful nation.”

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