Vietnam veterans warmed by T-GALS quilts

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Vietnam veteran, Donald Roach of Peru, is seen here accepting a handmade quilt from his father, Ed, and Arlene Thibeault, director of The Giving Angel Lady Stitchers. The T-GALS created more than two dozen quilts for local Vietnam veterans this fall. (Times photo by Cherri Crockett)
Vietnam veteran, Donald Roach of Peru, is seen here accepting a handmade quilt from his father, Ed, and Arlene Thibeault, director of The Giving Angel Lady Stitchers. The T-GALS created more than two dozen quilts for local Vietnam veterans this fall. (Times photo by Cherri Crockett)

RUMFORD- The Giving Angel Lady Stitchers held their annual presentation of quilts to veterans recently at the American Legion Post 24. This year those who served in Vietnam were recognized and gifted handmade quilts.

To begin, Post 24 Commander, Tricia Thurston, addressed those in attendance thanking them for their service, recognizing the T-GALS’ work as “beautiful works made from the heart and with loving hands,” and introduced Sheriff Wayne Gallant.

“We all know how we were treated when we returned,” stated Gallant. “As vets we need to get to a place of forgiveness so that we can move on. It’s time.”

Gallant read a poem that depicted the feelings of a soldier during the time of the Vietnam war, citing the negative feelings and opinions of those who condemned the soldiers as they returned home.
“I was young, scared, confused,” stated Gallant. “I was my mother’s baby, her youngest. I was not an assassin or a murderer. I was not capable of being those things. I was just a kid who had to put on a uniform and go to a foreign land to protect my country.”

Gallant thanked the T-GALS for their time and effort in remembering the veterans of all wars and finished by saying, “America, I forgive you.”

At that time, Arlene Thibeault began presenting veterans with their quilts that were created by the various women of the group who meet twice a week. There are two groups, one has been together for seven years and the other for three.

This year, the women created 27 quilts to present to veterans.

“These quilts are made with stitches of appreciation,” noted Thibeault. “Stitches that represent your service, sacrifice, courage and bravery. Each one of us thank God for sending our boys back home safe to us and continue to pray for those currently serving to be brought back safe.”

Following the presentation of quilts, veterans and their families were treated to a light lunch while visiting with one another.

To date, T-GALS have presented quilts to World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veterans.

 

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