Lt. Col. David Schmidt receives patriotic quilt in special ceremony.
It was a moment of honor that was a humbling experience for Retired Lt. Col. David Schmidt. On Sunday, July 7, the Pratt Area Quilts of Valor group presented Schmidt with a Quilt of Valor in a ceremony at the First United Methodist Church. The presentation was made in front of a Boy Scout troop where Schmidt volunteers as a scout master for Troop 201 that is sponsored by FSBC. Also present were his wife Michelle, sons Mark and Luke and his sister-in-law Molly Swank. Several members of PAQV were also present.
This was the first presentation by the Pratt Area Quilts of Valor group, said Rosalie Rose, PAQV member.
Schmidt said he was humbled for the honor. He was glad veterans were being recognized and he was very appreciative to receive a quilt.
The mission of Quilts of Valor is to cover active service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor, Rose said.
At the ceremony, Rose read a brief history of QOV, Schmidt’s service and training record, then presented him with the quilt. As tradition in the ceremony, the quilt is placed over the shoulders of the recipient with thanks from QOV for the persons service.
The presentation included a statement from Schmidt that was read during the presentation.
“I started as an enlisted man and worked my way up in the ranks to what I had always wanted to be: a U.S. Army Armor Officer in command of a tank company. I also was a Battalion Commander, had two overseas tours (one in a combat zone), had many friends and fellow veterans, but was most proud of the support that I received from my wife, my children and my family,” Schmidt said.
Rose said Pratt Area Quilts of Valor is seeking more nominations for quilts. The recipient is always contacted prior to the ceremony and asked if they would like receive the quilt. She, and the group, are anxious to honor more and thank them for their service.
“There are stories out there that need to be told,” Rose said. “This is our way of saying thanks.”
Pratt Area Quilts of Valor member Georgie Fowler made the quilt for Schmidt. She donated her own material for the quilt and worked on it one day a month for six months to complete the quilt. She made the blocks, did the binding and quilting. Fowler placed the quilt on Schmidt during the ceremony.
Quilts are usually 60 inches by 80 inches, material is cotton in red, white and blue and can be done in any pattern, Fowler said.
There is a special label attached to the back of the quilt that includes the name of the recipient, name of top maker, quilter and binder, date and location of presentation plus washing instructions.
Quilts are not stockpiled but are built after a nomination has been approved. It can take from six to 12 months to make a quilt, said Lisa Conner, QOV Kansas state coordinator and member of the Wichita QOV group.
Schmidt served with the Kansas National Guard across Kansas, the U.S. Army Reserve in Wichita, U.S. Army Active Duty on the east coast, had two tours of duty, one in Germany plus one in Kuwait and Iraq that was a combat tour.
He was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (three times), Army Achievement Medal (two times), Global War on Terrorism, Iraqi Campaign, Overseas Ribbon, Patron Saint Order of George (Armor), Patron Saint Barbara (Artillery.)
Schmidt enlisted in November 1980 and did his basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. He trained in Armour Basic and Advanced Skills at Fort Knox, Field Artillery School at Fort Sill, Okla., Combined Arms Service Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, plus training in logistics, military police and terrorism.
He was honorably discharged March 2011 in Wichita.
Pratt Area Quilts of Valor meets the second Thursday of every month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the basement of the First United Methodist Church.
The group organized in October 2018 and has 15 members. They are seeking volunteers for quilt construction who have long-arm quilting machines. They are also seeking more members as well as nominations for Quilts of Valor recipients, Rose said.
Veterans and active service members who have been touched by war are eligible for nomination. National Guard members are eligible only if they have been deployed, Conner said.
The ultimate decision of presenting the quilt is up to the nominee. It is OK if they decline a quilt, Conner said.
For more nomination information, contact Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or Conner at email@example.com. Also, visit the Quilts of Valor web page at www.QOVF.org to access “How to request a Quilt of Valor.”
Pratt Area Quilts of Valor is seeking donations of material for the quilts. Material needs to be high quality cotton in red, white and blue. They will also accept cash donations to purchase material, Rose said.