Comforting quilts awarded to veterans across the world

By Naoko Branker

When nothing else offers comfort, the warmth of a quilt can.

Or so believes Marianne Elliott, 61, a retired commander in the U.S. Navy who now works with the Scottish American Military Society, a nonprofit organization for veterans of Scottish descent.  

Photo credit: Naoko Branker Marianne Elliott, left, works with the Quilts of Valor Foundation to ensure that active duty military personnel and veterans receive comfort once they are stateside and a "Welcome Home."

Photo credit: Naoko Branker
Marianne Elliott, left, works with the Quilts of Valor Foundation to ensure that active duty military personnel and veterans receive comfort once they are stateside and a “Welcome Home.”

One of its major partnerships is with the Quilts of Valor Foundation, which sends homemade quilts to veterans. Elliott said these handmade quilts are awarded individually.

“Many cover our heroes on chilly medevac flights home,” Elliot said. “Others are presented at military medical facilities stateside, as well as at Veteran Medical Centers. Most Quilts of Valor are presented to individuals in award ceremonies.” 

According to the count kept by Quilts of Valor, they have awarded 788 quilts this week, 1,044 quilts this month and 127,018 quilts total to veterans across the world.

The idea for the quilts started with Catherine Roberts, an Army mom whose son went off to war, Elliot said.

“She pictured him having demons at 2 o’clock in the morning, and then pictured him with a quilt that wrapped him and comforted him and drove away the demons,” Elliot said.

Quilts of Valor started as a movement in the United States, and has grown with quilts being sent to the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Roberts wanted “every veteran, every service member to feel honor and comfort. Out of her sewing room in Delaware, she started a grassroots movement,” Elliot said.