Quilt of Valor

Quilt of Valor
Presented to: Wendell “Afe” Affield
Handmade/Quilted by Lanee
Dedicated With Thanks for Serving

“Lanee” is Kathleen Paulson, Solway, Minnesota. This past Saturday afternoon, Kathleen, her husband, Mark, and her parents, Kenny and Carol Stevens, stopped by our home and presented the quilt. I am deeply humbled and will treasure this keepsake.

I was not familiar with the Quilt of Valor program so I Googled it and discovered that,
“A Quilt of Valor is a wartime quilt made to honor our war wounded. It is a tangible way to say: “Thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor for our country.””
My war ended over forty years ago but we have again been at war for more than a decade so these Quilts of Valor truly are “wartime quilts.”

After Lanee and her family left I studied the quilt—the tiny, intricate stitching, the unique pattern design, the quilting. I’m sure Lanee spent many, many hours creating this piece of art. She even stitched in, “Treasure each Moment” a phrase I had written in her father’s copy of  Muddy Jungle Rivers.
As I studied the pictures we took, I reflected on the two little girls, Kadance and Livia, perched on the quilt. The older girl, Kadance, was an infant when I began writing Muddy Jungle Rivers. One evening this poem, “Lullaby for the Lost,”  came to me as I held her:

Autumn’s rain echoes overhead
as I rock my granddaughter tonight
Another tune, staccato,
lulled you to sleep
on a muddy jungle river

Readers have asked why I use no punctuation—no periods. How do you explain that there is no end to loving a grandchild: No end to remembering those we lost in war?

Today I mourn the young men and women lost in this new war who will never have a chance to hold a grandchild. But it is comforting to know there are people in the world like Lanee who step forward and offer a symbol representing what we sacrificed for.
Thank you, Lanee

6 Comments

  1. Ft Bragg Fisher House says:

    It’s beautiful!!

  2. Lanee says:

    What a tribute—I am very humbled. It’s so very hard to think of what soldiers have to go through during wartime and your book does a great job with informing us and not “sugar coating” conditions, feelings, and experiences. All we can say is thank you again for your service—

  3. Cindy Stevens says:

    I’m so glad you were the recipient of Lanee’s quilt Wendell. Your book has touched many lives and will continue to do so. It left me feeling like I knew all the men/boys who served with you. I was right there with you on that ‘Muddy Jungle River’! I too want to “Thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor for our country.” God Bless!

  4. Bonnie (Affield) Loots says:

    Wendell, I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the “Quilt of Valor.” I was a young girl when you came home from Vietnam. You never talked about it. Why would you? No one else could relate to the nightmarish horrors you experienced.Dad could, but he had his own emotional battles to deal with. As painful as it might have been for you, I thank you for writing this book. I’ve always admired and respected you. Your “good” little sister.

  5. Kat Sanders says:

    Beautiful quilt Sister! I can’t wait to read the book Wendell . . .

  6. Bonnie (Affield) Loots says:

    And, thank you to Lanee for the love and time that she put into the quilt. Her kind- hearted deed will not be forgotten.

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