The ladies of the ’67 Quilters are quietly honoring veterans with their hands, and their hearts.
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The informal group of classmates from the Troy High School Class of 1967 has joined together during the past two years to create a Veteran Honor Quilts project.
The women make quilts for presentation to veterans as a way to express respect and gratitude for sacrifices made.
The first recipients were members of their graduating class — 48 men and women — who were U.S. military veterans recognized during their 50-year reunion in September in a program at the Mayflower Arts Center in Troy.
The response was more than gratifying for the women, several who recalled that those serving in the military in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s were not treated with the respect seen widely for veterans today.
“They were hugging the quilts going out the door,” said class member Vikki Brandenburg of the presentations to classmates.
The project was started by class member Jane Thompson Webb, whose brother Ron was a Vietnam veteran who died of complications from Agent Orange. “I wanted to honor him and all the veterans in my high school graduating class. I recruited a few high school friends with willing hearts and hands to bring this dream to life,” she said.
Webb and eight friends gathered for a lunch in August 2015 at K’s hamburgers in downtown Troy to begin planning. They had one sewing machine, borrowed another and ended up with 12 after putting out a call for donations. Those who didn’t know learned how to sew, and soon the group was on its way to the creation of quilts.
More women from the Class of ’67 joined in, some who hadn’t seen others since graduation, gathering weekly at Webb’s home near Casstown each Wednesday to eat, sew and share camaraderie. Others who live out of town or are unable to participate support efforts financially.
One member, Linda Counts Baehr, sends quilt pieces from her home in California.
Several of the women including Baehr were on hand Nov. 1 after their second presentation program earlier in the day. The woman presented quilts to World War II veterans at the Miami Valley Veterans Museum in downtown Troy during its monthly veterans’ breakfast.
They also plan to recognize the three honor guard veterans from the American Legion who presented the flag at their class reunion and have requests for more quilts from veterans groups.
“We are thankful for each ‘gracious recipient,’” Webb said.
The ’67 Quilters can be contacted at Box 146, Casstown, Ohio, 45312.
Contact this contributing writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.