The ALA Stories blog series showcases positive American Legion Auxiliary experiences, thoughts, and ideas of ALA members. We hope these blog posts will inspire and encourage all who read them.
U.S. Navy veteran Donald Brooks holds the quilt awarded to him by ALA Unit 155 in Oldtown, Idaho. This handcrafting covering is one of the symbolic 200,000th Quilts of Valor.
It’s quite fitting that an American Legion Auxiliary unit awarded a “symbolic” 200,000th Quilt of Valor to a local military veteran. Showing honor and appreciation to our nation’s veterans and servicemembers is at the heart of what ALA members do.
Unit 155 in Oldtown, Idaho, awarded the handcrafted quilt recently to Donald Brooks, a U.S. Navy veteran who served 1951-1954 in the Korean War. He was on aircraft carriers USS Boxer and USS Yorktown. After that, Brooks served two years in the active reserve.
The presentation was done through the Welcome Home Veterans Quilt of Valor group, which is working with ALA Unit 155 in Oldtown, explained Darlene Mossman — who is a member of Unit 155. She is also the Welcome Home Veterans Quilt of Valor group leader. Mossman led the presentation, and Unit 155 President Barbara Cooper wrapped the quilt around Brooks.
“I get choked up every time I do a Quilt of Valor presentation. It’s so emotional — being able to give somebody something that represents gratitude for the sacrifices,” said Mossman.
The national Quilt of Valor Foundation has encouraged each Quilt of Valor group to award a symbolic quilt to represent the national program’s milestone of awarding 200,000 of these special coverings since 2003.
Even before Mossman joined Unit 155 and before she met Brooks, she made the symbolic 200,000th quilt she knew would someday be wrapped around a veteran — to thank, honor, and comfort a military hero.
Mossman’s husband Shannon, a Legionnaire with Post 155 in Oldtown, helped make the quilt which was awarded to Brooks. Shannon is a U.S. Navy veteran. He serves as Post 155’s chaplain.
Other members of Unit 155 will have more of a hand in making quilts to be awarded in the future. Mossman has been holding sewing classes for unit members who either haven’t sewn in a long time or who don’t know how to sew. One member with more sewing experience is already putting her skill to use. And another member is helping by ironing the fabric. Legionnaire Shannon Mossman continues to assist, by doing the long-arm quilting.
Post 155 has donated $500 to Unit 155 for Quilts of Valor. And the unit has dedicated $1,000 a year to support the Quilts of Valor program.
To see the latest tally of quilt awards that have been recorded — or to nominate someone to receive a quilt, visit the Quilts of Valor Foundation website at www.qovf.org.
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The quilt awarded to U.S. Navy veteran Donald Brooks.