Quilt guild offers soft touch to veterans

America's veterans deserve our greatest admiration and thanks. These individuals have been on the front lines of freedom and risked their lives to protect our homeland.

When individuals or organizations find ways to honor these individuals, it's important to pause and say, "Thank you."

The River Heritage Quilt Guild recently held its Quilts of Valor presentation at the Cape Girardeau Public Library.

Four men and one woman were presented quilts. The veterans represented a range of ages and wars and included Dr. Ron Lessmann, Robbie Stagner, Darrell Gallaher, Marti Martin and Tom Wolfe.

* Lessmann is a dentist who spent 21 years in the Navy.

* Stagner is a Marine who served in Afghanistan.

* Gallaher is a veteran who served in Vietnam.

* Martin, the lone woman of the group, is an Army veteran and served from 1969 to 1972.

* Wolfe is 93 years old and a World War II veteran.

Regina Tucker told the group about the history of giving quilts to those who have served in the military. She said soldiers in the Civil War were given bed roles, and those who perished were buried in the quilts.

"When they started doing this a few years ago across the country, the Vietnam vets especially, they said that it meant a lot to them, since some of them had never been thanked before," Tucker said in a story by Southeast Missourian reporter Tyler Graef.

Thanks to the quilters for participating in something that means so much to our veterans. Their act of kindness is a reminder to thank veterans. We may not all have the gift of quilting, but each of us can do something whether it's buying a service member a meal or a simple word of thanks. They deserve it.

To all who have served in the U.S. military, we thank you.