Quilts & Comforters

Doris Roberts and others make it their duty to help ease the pain of wounded soldiers 

BY PATTI SELLS | News-Telegram Feature Writer

May 20, 2007 - At least 35 lap quilts will be on display Monday, May 21, at 4 p.m. on the downtown square surrounding the soldier memorial statue before being taken and hand delivered  to wounded soldiers at the Intrepid Center of Fort Sam Houston Army Base in San Antonio for Memorial Day.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Doris Roberts (right) with the wife of one of the wounded soldiers Roberts gave quilts to in March at Fort Sam Houston Army Base.

"So many of them are amputees," said Doris Roberts of Sulphur Springs, who has made it her mission to see that no soldier feels forgotten. "I don't want any of them to feel like they have fought and been forgotten like the boys in the Korean War and Vietnam."

Roberts made her first trip to the Intrepid Center on March 14 of this year with 56 quilts loaded in her car. With the assistance of a former military administrator she was allowed on the base to distribute the quilts to wounded soldiers and meet their families.

"They are such a joy to be around," she said.

Roberts, who has quilted for the public for years, first got involved after hearing of some ladies who were making small quilts to take to the burn center at Fort Sam Houston. She offered her services to the women free of charge and soon the opportunity arose for her to become more personally involved.

"I'm far from the best and any bit of talent I have is God given," she said. "When you have talent you've got to use it for it to amount to anything."

After Robert's March trip, she came back so enthusiastic and telling others of her experience, that the word of her mission quickly spread. Soon everyone wanted to help with the project. 

Quilt tops began to come in from near and far, according to Roberts, who said Alice Swick of Fairmont, W.V., whom she has never even met, has joined forces with her in making quilts.

"I just thought that was so precious," said Roberts. "I couldn't do this without help, and so many have contributed. A Dallas quilt group cleaned out their stash and sent it to me saying they wanted me to do something worthwhile with it."

The Lone Star Heritage Quilt Guild of Hopkins County has played a tremendous role in helping spread the word of Roberts mission. They have also "worked feverishly" to help make quilt tops and get them ready by Memorial Day.

Even those who don't know how to sew are contributing to the project by providing Roberts with fabric and other quilting materials.

According to Roberts, this is the most rewarding thing she has ever done and she plans to continue until every wounded soldier has a lap quilt. 

Roberts and her daughter, Paula, coming all the way from Arizona, will be delivering the lap quilts the last week of this month in honor of Memorial Day.

For more information on how you can help call 903-885-5567.

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