WWII vet in Valdosta awarded ‘Quilt of Valor’

WWII vet in Valdosta awarded ‘Quilt of Valor’
A World War II veteran in Valdosta was honored with a Quilt of Valor Tuesday. (Source: WCTV)

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) – A World War II veteran in Valdosta received a Quilt of Valor Tuesday.

Sgt. Owen Youles is 95-years-old. He celebrates his 96th birthday next Monday. At the age of 19, he joined the U.S. Army.

He served in the 106th Infantry Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

"It was cold. And unfortunately, a lot of the soldiers had frostbite because they didn't have any extra socks to put on when they got wet," Youles said.

Nancy Stafford with the Victory Quilt Guild gifted him with a memento of comfort for his service.

"Well it's something to wrap up and be warm with," said Youles. "But it meant more than that to the people who have made it."

Stafford says to-date, the grassroots organization has awarded nearly 250,000 veterans with quilts.

It began with one military mother, Catherine Roberts, and a dream she had one night:

The dream was as vivid as real life. I saw a young man sitting on the side of his bed in the middle of the night, hunched over. The permeating feeling was one of utter despair. I could see his war demons clustered around, dragging him down into an emotional gutter. Then, as if viewing a movie, I saw him in the next scene wrapped in a quilt. His whole demeanor changed from one of despair to one of hope and wellbeing. The quilt had made this dramatic change.

Catherine Roberts

"More than 500 people in Georgia are waiting for their own quilts, and we're stitching just as fast as we can," Stafford said.

Blankets made by Quilts of Valor are handsewn by volunteers, and the organization thrives on donations.

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