Vivian Edersheim photo
RAYMOND — When local veterans are invited to Willapa Harbor Quilters’ meetings, they receive thanks as well as patriotic quilts in appreciation for their years of military service. It’s a truly rewarding experience for both the presenters and the recipients.
Some veterans have had tears in their eyes as they received the quilts. One said it was the best thing to come out of his Vietnam experience. Another talked about his transition to a “peacenik” as a result of his service.
All have shared some aspect of their military careers, long or short, giving the places they had served or the jobs they held and the pride they had in serving their country. For some, it’s the first public acknowledgment of that part of their lives.
For the quilters, it’s a continuing education not only about the various branches of the military and the wide variety of career options. It’s also an introduction to those in our community who have made a personal sacrifice in their lives to support peace and prosperity in our country.
Altogether, the quilters have presented 85 quilts since 2014. In 2018, the quilters have honored the following veterans: Army veteran Charlie Clevenger, Army veteran Jake Fetters, Navy veteran Al Franks, Navy veteran Lester Goodwin, Air Force veteran Dave Habersetzer, Marine veteran Ted Hunt (received by his sister, Nancy Brackett), Army veteran Ray Jones, Navy veteran Al Nevitt, Army veteran Duane Nichols, Army veteran Tony Nordin, Army veteran Bob Oblad, Army veteran Scott Pollard, Air Force veteran Bob Rise, Army veteran Mark Schafer, Navy veteran David Smith, Air Force veteran Chuck Spoor Sr., Army veteran Chuck Spoor Jr., Air Force veterans John and Valerie Stone, Army veteran Harold Strozyk, Army veteran Ken Taylor.
Members of the quilt guild piece the tops in a variety of patterns, and two or three long-arm quilters in the group quilt the tops to batting and backing. Each quilt includes a label with the veteran’s name. It’s an honor for the quilters to provide these items of comfort to people who sometimes had little comfort during their years of service.
Work by the quilters, including some patriotic quilts, will be on display during the free “Quilts on the Willapa” show, Aug. 3-4, during Willapa Harbor Days. Items also will be displayed for judging and viewing during the Pacific County Fair, Aug. 22-25 in Menlo.
To learn more about the Willapa Harbor Quilters and the patriotic quilt project, call guild president Becky Coburn at 360-934-5567. The quilters meet each Tuesday, except in August and December, at 11:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Raymond. Visitors are always welcome to stop by for show and tell, coffee and conversation.