Local group sews and presents "Quilts of Valor" to veterans and service members

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- The Garden City Quilters meet every month to work on quilts for those who fight or have fought for our freedom. It's a local chapter of a National Organization called Quilts of Valor.

Love and gratitude go into every stich of each quilt of valor.

"We're winding thread and we're planning patterns and we're thinking specifically about this quilt for a female Vietnam veteran, for instance," said Dianne Collins of the Garden City Quilters.

Collins and other members of the Garden City Quilters use their sewing skills to honor veterans and service members by presenting them with personalized quilts of valor.

"We want them to know we think about them constantly, really when we're sewing," she said.

That's a reminder many service members and vets need. Vietnam veteran Angel Couch is one of them.

"I came back with PTSD. I came back with an injured back. I have four screws in my back," she said.

She says hostility directed at Vietnam veterans adds insult to injury, but her quilt of valor makes her feel like her service matters.

"And when people feel that you're just a Vietnam veteran, you know you're over there hurting people, but yet this group, when they presented me with this, I just started crying," Couch said. "I'm like wow, somebody really did care. They do care."

According to a VA study, about 20 veterans commit suicide every day.

At one point, Angel sys she was hospitalized with five other female veterans affected with PTSD. Now, she's the only one left.

"I like the quiet, and I'll wrap up in my quilt. I'll read. I'll even do homework," she said. "I'm in school now, so I'll do homework. So this quilt is a great comfort to me. It really is."

Hundreds of hours of work and the finest materials go into Quilts of Valor. And they come with a 100 year guarantee to provide a vet with a lifetime of comfort and a physical embodiment of gratitude.

"Because of our military protecting me, I can do whatever I want," Collins said. "I can sew. I can drive. I can vote. And I'll always appreciate that."

To vets like Angel, that means everything.

"And I think you know, that's the greatest thing they could ever do for us, to finally say, 'Yes, we do like you. Welcome home,'" she said.

More than 159,000 service members and veterans have received quilts of valor to date.

If someone you know deserves a quilt of valor, you can nominate them here.

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