Edmonson Voice Report:
On Friday, April 21, Owensboro quilter Vicki Girten presented veteran tribute quilts to ten members of the Brownsville VFW Post 6937 in a ceremony at the Brownsville Public Library.
Girten got her start in quilting after her mother told her that it was a dying art that needed to be continued. She started by making veteran tribute quilts; first, for a neighbor WWII veteran, then for family veterans, and then she expanded her generosity to other veterans from friends.
Recently, lifelong friend and Brownsville resident Nelda Woosley told her about the small Brownsville VFW Post that regularly earns All State and All American honors and expends a lot of effort into conducting veteran funeral ceremonies. In March, she presented quilts to local veterans Paul Vincent and Morris Blanton, honoring Vincent’s WWII service and recent recovery and return home from a hip injury.
During that ceremony in the living room of Paul Vincent’s home (where the VFW had just helped install a wheelchair ramp) she was impressed with the spirit of service and comradeship she observed among the VFW Post members, so the following month she returned to Brownsville with additional quilts.
Friday’s quilt presentation brought her quilt donation total up to 112. It takes her two days of labor, even with modern quilting tools, to complete each quilt and only two have been of duplicate design (which was by request).
VFW Post 6937’s Commander, CWO-5 Gerald Carroll US Army retired, said, “Words are totally inadequate to describe what this woman has done for us as veterans.”
Past Department of Kentucky Commander, Chief Master Sergeant Edwin Vincent, USAF retired said, “When we went into the service we expected and got practically nothing (from the public), but this is just great!”
Post member Benny Durbin noted, “I turned 18 in Vietnam and haven’t felt this emotional since we returned by bus from a tour of Washington DC war memorials and were escorted into town by an honor guard of first responders."
Girten’s next mission is making quilts for a Post of 25 in Davis County led by a former Navy Corpsman.
Post member Ray Durbin commented on Girten’s work, “God gave her the talent and this is her ministry.”