Carol Olson and Doris “Lew” Gresham: Quilting for Veterans

HUNTSVILLE - With each new quilt, these women honor those who have volunteered to serve and protect our great country.

Just like our servicemen and women, these quilters are also volunteers.

They sew for those who are wounded and have given up so much. Some of the ladies have close family members in the service, while some have served themselves!

"I enjoyed every minute of my service and was proud to do it, but it's just something to look back on and enjoy, especially since it's carried through for 60-something years, you know, with the person I met in Germany. I served in the army from '49 to '53,” said Doris “Lew” Gresham.

"My husband retired from the Army. We met in Heidelburg, Germany when we were both working at a dental laboratory."

"I have a brother that served in the Navy for, well two brothers that served in the Navy for some time. One was on the ranger for two tours. He was a pilot," said Gresham’s friend, Carol Olson.

"My daughter was in the Navy."

All they want to do now is show their gratitude.

"We want to send the soldiers something that represents our country and to thank them for what they have done for our country."

And now, they're paying it forward.

"These people have given more than we can ever give back to them, and I love quilting."

Olson and Gresham, along with their friends in Huntsville, sew quilts for wounded veterans.

"It is a pleasure to do so and I admire all those guys immensely. I've always been connected with the military and it's just natural. Just look forward to Wednesday," Gresham said.

Once a week this small army of women gathers and they make a terrific team...

"We assemble the quilts, we work on the quilts, we whatever, if anyone needs help, we help each other," Olson said.

And it's not just soldiers they help...

"We try to keep up with the people in town that we are aware of that are having problems and send them our prayers."

And, every once in a while, they see the fruit of their labor...

"I've seen a number of people around here that we've given quilts to," Gresham said.

"Like one man came in and his son had died in Afghanistan so we gave him a quilt, just in honor of his son."

"We've gone to the inpatient and visited with each of the inpatients and then the next morning the soldiers come through the PX line and then we visit with them as they come through. It's very very heart-warming to do that," Olson said.

"Going out front, he said to everybody 'They gave me a quilt! They gave me a quilt!' That made me feel good that I could do that and impress him with what we do," Gresham said.

At the end of the day, they're just doing their part...

"They gave their time and we're just trying to say thank you. It's a small piece of a 'thank you' back. We'd like for them to know that we do appreciate what they do for us," Olson said.


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