HILL AIR FORCE BASE — A Utah woman is sewing the fabric of healing one quilt at a time.
The quilts are part of the Home of the Brave Quilt Project, a nationwide movement to honor the troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All of the 6,760 Americans who gave their lives in battle, including 45 Utahns are represented.
Patricia Moseman has made sure all of Utah troops have been honored and not forgotten.
Elizabeth Curtiss lost her husband in Afghanistan in August 2009. Army Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss was a team leader. He was killed as they tried to clear a Taliban-controlled clinic.
“He cared more about other people than himself,” she said. "If he knew you, even if he didn't know you very well, he had your back, and that's the way he took care of his troops."
Curtiss joined the Army the day after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He deployed twice to Iraq with the 101st Airborne and served nearly a year in Afghanistan before he was killed.
Moseman recently presented a quilt to Curtiss. “I think it’s the coolest thing,” Curtiss said. “I think it’s really nice that somebody would put together something like that for the families of soldiers that have died.”
The Home of the Brave Project started in California in 2004 and has spread to every state. Quilters from across the country have joined in. They take their inspiration from quilts made in the Civil War. The design comes from a Civil War pattern, called Crossroads, which represents where the north and south meet.
Moseman started quilting for the Home of the Brave Project a year ago. "So often our soldiers are forgotten," she said. "I'm a military wife and think that the general public can forget the sacrifices that our military makes."
The quilts are a way to honor and show gratitude for their hero's service. “It just feels good to be part of making things better,” she said.
She has now delivered a quilt to each Utah family that lost a loved one in battle. She personalizes each one with the soldier’s name. She’s logged 2,000 miles and spent $3,000 visiting families in every corner of the state.
The quilts help bring sharing comfort and warmth in the homes of the brave.
“Sometimes, we talk for an hour or two, and they have so much they want to share, and I think that’s good for them,” Moseman said.
“People tend to forget,” Curtiss said. “And it’s a reminder that people do remember.”
E-mail: [email protected]