Story and photo submitted by Quilts of Valor
Thanks to a network of friends and colleagues, long time resident Ron du Bois and WW2 veteran was selected for the distinction and honor of receiving a Quilt of Valor. The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a national organization whose members create hand crafted quilts for combat service members and veterans “touched by war.” The presentation ceremony took place on Saturday February 6, at the Quilting Post, 717 Main St., Stillwater.
Sarah Wheatley welcomed Professor du Bois and Dr. Perry Gethner, then addressed the gathering of quilters:
“Quilts of Valor is a national volunteer group of quilters whose mission is to honor our veterans and active duty service members. In 2003, a Blue Star mother, Catherine Roberts, had the idea of comforting veterans with quilts during the time her son was deployed in Irag. Since then, over 132,907 Quilts of Valor have been awarded in Irag, Afghanistan, and here in the United States.
“If I remember correctly, Professor du Bois visited with us last year at our first Quilt of Valor National Sew Day. I remember he said he was a WW II veteran. What I didn’t realize was his breadth of service. As an 18 year old he qualified to be in the Army Specialized Training Corp. Assigned to the Infantry as an army artist, he was on Omaha Beach. He was wounded on French soil and awarded the Purple Heart. In 2014, France awarded him the prestigious Chevalier Legion d’Honneur medal.
“We are honored to be able to award Prof. du Bois his Quilt of Valor today as our way to express our humble thank you for your service to our country and as a member of the Greatest Generation.”
As an art professor, Ron du Bois understands the challenges of the malleability of disparate visual elements practiced by quilters. He plans to reciprocate by sending one of his hand crafted ceramic necklaces to the Oklahoma quilter who produced and donated the quilt. Quilters by policy remain publicly anonymous.