Volunteer quilters blanket veterans with comfort

GREELEY, Colo. -
Comforting a veteran touched by war may seem difficult for those of us who have never seen combat. 
But it may be easier than you think. 
 
A pair of 7Everyday Heroes are helping our veterans heal with something homemade. 
 
Alycia Carmin and Cecily Cass lead two different groups with the same goal:  To provide comfort and healing for our veterans by giving them a quilt. 
 
"It is a hug that goes home with them," said Carmin. 
 
Some quilts are presented to vets who visit our nation's capital with Honor Flight Northern Colorado. 
 
"So, when they come home, they get their luggage and get a quilt.  They get to choose it," said Cass. 
 
"My first thought was: They have been giving to us and thanking us the whole trip and they still aren't done yet, they're still going to give us some more stuff,'" said Mark Kauffman, a Vietnam Veteran. 
 
For many veterans of the Vietnam War the quilts are among the first thank yous they have ever received. 
 
"Fifty-three years is a long time coming," said Ernie Anderson, a Vietnam Veteran. 
 
"The way they treated us when we first came back, we kept a low profile for a long, long, long time," said Kauffman. 
 
Other quilts made by hundreds of volunteers across Colorado are presented to vets through a program called Quilts of Valor. 
 
"This is a physical, tangible way we can show our appreciation.  There is healing in these quilts.  I know that sounds crazy but really, truly, there is healing in them," said Carmin. 
 
As a volunteer for Quilts of Valor, Carmin does not simply hand the quilts to veterans.
 
"So, wrapping that quilt around them is kind of like an act of submission.  Not to me but they are submitting to the love we want to show them and the hugs we want to give them," said Carmin. 
 
The veteran's reactions alone motivate Carmin and Cass to lead groups to make hundred of quilts a year for Colorado veterans. 
 
The veterans are often moved beyond words. 
 
"He just had tears in his eyes.  Someone made this for me!  They cared enough to make this for me?," said Cass. 
 
"I have had quite a few veterans come and say: 'I just got goose bumps,'" said Carmin. 
 
Alycia Carmin and Cecily Cass spend hundreds of hours making quilts because veterans are their heroes. 
 
To learn more about Honor Flight Northern Colorado and Quilts of Valor go to     www.honorflightnortherncolorado.org  and  www.QOVF.org    
 
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 News in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook  and Twitter . Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here .
 
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