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Quilt of Valour presented to retired military

Unity Legion Branch No. 90 honours member James Quiring with Quilts of Valour presentation.

UNITY – The regular meeting of the Unity Legion Branch had an added special presentation. Legion member, James Quiring, was awarded a quilt through the Quilts of Valour organization. Beth Andrews, who is part of the non-profit organization, was on hand to make the presentation to Quiring. The quilt that was presented was made by local quilter Nina Burnell, who has quilted with Quiring’s wife, Heather, for a number of years.

Quiring was a member of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment in the 14th armoured reserve. He joined the service during his final year of high school.

“It was an opportunity to secure employment directly afterwards and it pushed me physically, similar to the sports I played, like football and rugby,” said Quiring.

In his seven years of service, Quiring was attached to the Strathcona battle group and Operation Cavalier rotation 3. He also was a part of the Canadian Contingent Unity Nations Protection Force in Bosnia Herzegovina and the Canadian Battalion 2 based in Visoko from April to October 1994.

Quiring met his wife while he was training to re-deploy on Operation Cavalier rotation 6. He later retired as a corporal and has been out of the service for 25 years. Re-integration was difficult for Quiring as he couldn’t relate to civilian friends, but the support from his parents and lots of time helped him rebuild those interactions.

The quilt was presented to Quiring for his years of active service. Andrews explained that the Canadian Quilts of Valour started by a woman in Edmonton when a soldier’s life was lost overseas, but three others returned home.

“She felt that while there was a lot of attention being paid to the one that had lost their life, these fellows that were in the hospital had sacrificed a lot on the behalf of Canadians,” she said during the presentation.

“[She] and her friends got together and made these quilts and presented them to the soldiers. She was so overwhelmed with the reaction from the recipients that she was determined that this simple act had to grow larger throughout the country.

To date, more than 22,200 quilts have been handed out to soldiers from coast to coast by the volunteer organization. Some quilting guilds commit to producing a number of quilts for the soldiers. For anyone who would like to contribute to the Quilts of Valour can contact Andrews at 306-345-2302.