While working on this quilt Sherry learned the story of another brave soldier. She was tremendously inspired by the story of Sgt. Joe Grabianowski who, while evacuating the seriously wounded Pfc Clemons, was himself critically injured by another IED. Joe was sent to Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Maryland, where both his legs were amputated at the hip. In Sherry’s words “Despite his own grave condition, Sgt. Joe kept asking about Dalton, the soldier he had saved. My heart was filled with admiration for Sgt. Joe’s heroism, valor and character and I wanted to acknowledge his valiant efforts by making a special quilt for him. I feel immensely grateful to this young man, and hope that if my own children are ever in a critical situation, someone of Sgt. Joe’s character and courage is nearby.” In response to Sgt. Joe’s heroism Sherry made Star of Valor.
“This quilt, Star of Valor will never replace what Sgt. Joe has lost, but I do hope that he and his family know the gratitude and pride that he has evoked in so many through his selfless heroism.”
In addition to groups like the one Sherry participated in, a wonderful organization called Quilts of Valor has been creating quilts for American combat veterans since 2003. To date, a staggering 141,318 quilts have been recorded by the organization!
From the QOV website: “The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”