It is unlikely that any county in Iowa (maybe in the U.S.) has presented every living veteran a handmade patriotic quilt except Monroe County, Iowa. The Monroe County Veteran Peace Quilters, 17 women on a mission, made 94 quilts and presented 62 to Monroe County veterans serving from 1975 to the present at a Veterans Day ceremony at the American Legion on Sunday.
The Albia American Legion Hall was packed as American Legion Commander Gary Dustin read the names of veterans receiving quilts and members of the Peace Quilters along with several student volunteers presented the quilts. “Thank you for your service,” was followed by handshakes, hugs, smiles and tears.
Sunday’s ceremony completes an odyssey started with making about 35 quilts to present to WWII veterans. Only eight of those veterans are still living, but the Veteran Peace Quilters continued, doing quilts for Korean War era veterans, then Vietnam era veterans and finally veterans from 1975, through wars in Grenada, Gulf War I and now Enduring Iraqi Freedom.
Both men and women in all branches of service, including the National Guard and current active and reserve duty men and women received quilts. Many of those attending the gathering Sunday received their quilt from the woman who made it.
Peace Quilters include Karen Amoss, Donna Carter, Linda Chance, Susan Chidester, JoAnn Coop, Mary Dustin, Lucy Elswick, Connie Gillaspie, Karen Johannes, Theressa Robinson, Kim Sawatzky, Rose Mary Scott, Barbara Shelquist, Arlys West, Cindy Gillaspie, Bert Currie and Kathy Welsh.
There were some special presentations. Father and son, Chris Downey (U.S Army and Army Reserve), and Noah (U.S. Army and Iowa National Guard) received quilts. So did Josh Gutcher (Iowa National Guard), whose son, Hayden was in attendance has already taken Basic Training prior to entering his senior year at Albia Community High School.
Tony Gilland, Jody Gilland and Matt Gilland, all U.S. Air Force received quilts.
Husband and wife, Michael and Christina Roth (Army) received quilts and father and son, Dan Sexauer and Shane Sexauer, both U.S. Army, received quilts.
Husband and wife, Stuart (Army) and Lacy (Navy) Vandervick received quilts.
All of those who received or will receive quilts included: Zane Algreen, Ryan Ammons, Pat Anderson, John Angran, Joe Bates, Joseph Bay, Bill Bayer, Richard Black, Tyler Boley, Craig Brady, Jack Briggs, Greg Call, Diana Carlson, Thomas Chamberlain, Susan Chance, Edwin Closue, Phil Clouse, Scott Couch, Dan Crall, William Cubbage, Roger Davis, Matthew DeBoth, Matt Dicks, John Diercks, Chris Downey, Noah Downey, Rod Elswick, Mark Emerson, Lisa Flattery, Michael Flattery, Paul Flattery, Royce Foster, Roger George,
Albia, Tony Gilland, Jody Gilland, Matt Gilland, Eric Goheen, Troy Graham, Keith Groenenboom, Josh Gutcher, Jordan Harvey, Tyson Hackett, Joshua Oelzel, Debra House, Art Humphreys, John Hyde, Richard James, Douglas Jones, Wayne Jones, Brandin Jones, Kerry Karp, Jimmy Joe Kendall, Mark Kent, Danny Kimball, Randy Kimball, Tony Kurimski, Carolyn McAlister, Dave McDonough, Douglas McLey, Larry Miller, Cindy Meyers, Debra Payne, John Person, Irwin Post, Robert Post, Tim Raskie, Todd Ratliff,
Also, Tim Reynolds, Mark Robinson, Christina Roth, Alan Rowe, Kris Sarver, Andrew Schroeder, Shane Sexauer, Dan Sexauer, Joel Sims, Todd Stewart, Phil Summers, Jordan Taylor, Brian Teeter, Rod Throckmorton, James Toopes, Patrick Townsend, Cody Underwood, Lacy Vandervick, Stuart Vandervick, Roger Verploeg, John Williams, Tom Woodard, Bill Wratten, David Zelenka.