It was a family affair as friends and family gathered at the AmericInn outside of Anamosa to honor Herb Spencer with a Quilt of Valor April 20.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be able to award quilts to veterans like Herb,” Elayne Gassett, the founder of the Cedar Rapids-based Freedom Stitchers and a former longarm coordinator for Quilts of Valor.

In addition to a large contingent of family, Spencer was also supported by members of the Anamosa Color Guard. He thanked those in attendance

Jerry Green, the state coordinator for eastern Iowa, gave a bit of background on the organization. It was started back in 2003 by Catherine Roberts of Delaware with the goal of making these quilts to give to veterans touched by war. Over the last 16 years, the organization has made 216,471 created by more than 10,000 volunteers.

Locally, in Linn County and the surrounding area, nearly 500 veterans have been honored by more than 150 volunteers.

The quilts, while not thick enough to be used as a bed cover, are meant to be used.

“You can get it dirty. It can be on the floor. Your dog can be on it,” Gassett said.

In addition to the quilt, veterans receive a thank you note and a certificate, signed by those in attendance.

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