Quilts ‘made with love’ awarded at Iowa Veterans Home

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY Dale Hall, 94, of the Iowa Veterans Home, is congratulated after receiving a well-earned Quilt of Valor Saturday in the facility’s Malloy Leisure Resource Center. Hall and 15 other World War II veterans were honored during the event sponsored by Central Iowa Quilt Sew-ciety.

A standing room only crowd in Malloy Leisure Resource Center at the Iowa Veterans Home witnessed 16 World War II veterans receive colorful and eye-striking Quilts of Valor Saturday.

“I can think of nothing else I would rather do than honor these 16 veterans, who answered their country’s call,” said IVH Commandant Jodi Tymeson in perhaps one of her last official acts at the historic facility. “My job at IVH ends at midnight April 30.”

Earlier this month, Tymeson was assigned by Gov. Terry Branstad to be director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, a position she held previously before Branstad made her IVH’s Chief Operating Officer in 2013.

Shortly thereafter, she was appointed commandant in October of the same year.

Family, IVH residents, staff and volunteers listened attentively as Elayne Gassett of the Quilts of Valor Foundation and others from the Quilts of Valor Society read aloud about the service exploits of the 16 veterans.

Next, each received a unique, homemade quilt for their personal use made by Ann Finger, Elaine Ballhagen and members of CIQS.

Many “oohs and aahs” could be heard from audience members as volunteers unfolded and fully displayed the quilts for all to see before wrapping them around each recipients’ shoulders.

Some of the 13 men and 3 women honored served stateside, and others, like Dale Hall of IVH, overseas.

Hall, a Des Moines native, was a member of the famed U.S. Seventh Army, under the command of the legendary Gen. George Patton.

The Seventh Army participated in several significant World War II campaigns in the Mediterranean and Europe.

Halls’ daughter, Nanette Hall of Des Moines, said she was thrilled to see her father receive a handsome, one-of-a kind quilt.

She said her family has a proud military tradition. “My husband served in Vietnam,” she said. “And my grandparents on both sides served in World War I.”

The quilts were displayed last month in storefront windows of several downtown Marshalltown businesses.

Fittingly, the theme of the patriotic event was set with Tymeson’s opening remarks, followed by a compelling invocation by IVH Chaplain Rev. Angela Doty.

A Presentation of Flags was made by the Marshalltown American Legion and Post 839 VFW joint Honor Guard.

IVH Music Therapist Nicki Stevenson and Roseanne Anderson, CIQS president had major contributions in the program.

The CIQS goal is to award every World War II veteran at IVH his/her own Quilt of Valor. In addition, it will be honoring more IVH veterans throughout the year at private ceremonies. CIQS will hold its annual autumn Quilts of Valor ceremony, with those recipients being from the Marshalltown area, and not strictly from IVH.

The group estimates the cost of completing a Quilt of Valor to be around $200 each. Contributions may be sent to the CIQS at: P.O. Box 1755, Marshalltown. To learn more about Quilts of Valor visit: www.qovf.org.