Sewing for Veterans present hand-made quilts to father and son

by Rose Hawkins

Sewing for Veterans frequently receives requests for quilts for a specific veteran.  So it wasn’t unusual when the Vance family requested a quilt for 82 year old SMSGT Larry Gene Vance.

Larry had served in the United States Marines and The United States Air Force for a total of 21 years. He was a jet engine tech, in Air Defense and Strategic Air Command serving in the Korean Conflict, and in Air Rescue helicopters during the Vietnam War. 

As sewing began on the quilt for Larry, someone in the group mentioned that Larry has a son that served in the military. That sparked an idea and led to the presentation of two quilts at the same time - presented to father and son. 

SMSGT William Bolton Vance, 57 years old, served 21 years, 1 month and 1 day in the United States Air Force. Bill, as he is called, was in the B2 Bomb Squadron, Strategic Air Command and Air Combat Command. 

“I set up the presentation like any in-home presentation we have done.” Debbie Guidry related. “I have known the family for years, and went by myself with one quilt, so they wouldn’t catch on right away. We usually ask family and friends to be present anyway, so we knew that Bill would be there. In about 10 minutes, Sharon Huber, who is also acquainted with the family, came in with the second quilt. They were very surprised to see her and more surprised that Sharon had put a quilt together for Bill also.” 

(The quilts were a joint effort, Sharon Huber pieced them.  Donna Gash quilted Larry’s, with Larry and Pam Stultz quilting Bill’s.) 

Amid the surprise, tears, laughter and pride, Larry commented, “We are very thankful!

But I have one question: How did they sew all of that love into those quilts?”

“We, of the Sewing for Veterans group, get a big thrill out of making and presenting these quilts. We hope the Veterans will get comfort from them and realize how much we appreciate their service to our country. Thank you, all Veterans!”

Sewing for Veterans quilts are all hand crafted. The group meets at the Westville Public Library. For more information, contact Deb Guidry at 217-369-5057.

Categories (3):News, People, Social Services


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