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JAMES LOCKHART: Traveling quilt makes veteran history

August 16, 2013

The Ladies Auxiliary in Spiro made a quilt a few years ago.  It was raffled off and Keith May of Spiro won the quilt. 
At first, May put the quilt in a box under his bed, but after a while he got to thinking the quilt should be sent overseas to the troops. 
After some phone calls the quilt was sent overseas where it was passed from soldier to soldier. When one soldier’s tour of duty ended, it was given to another. 
Sunday, the quilt was returned home to Spiro. The stories that were shared by those who used it are stories I will never forget. The soldiers even named the quilt “Stars.”
• • • • • •
“I came to the U.S. when I was 12-years-old. Sir, I have to tell you, I lived a poor life until I came to this country. I know what it is like to not have food. I know what it is like to not have clothes or even have money. 
“I remember gluing my shoes together and cutting them so they would fit. I still had shoes that smiled. So, I really don’t take anything I have in my life for granted. 
“Stars is keeping me warm at night. It’s been bitter cold here in Afghanistan. Some days the heater works and other days it doesn’t. 
“I’m glad that Stars is there to keep me warm. I will be sure to take care of her. What’s so special about this quilt is — it is carrying on a tradition. I’m very old-school and believe a lot in tradition, and now I get to personally partake in one, thank you.” Army SFC Enicka Williams, 2012, Afghanistan.
I was extremely grateful to be invited to the ceremony at the Spiro VFW on Sunday. I would like to thank May for caring enough to send the quilt overseas to our servicemen and women. It is truly amazing how such a kind gesture has touched so many lives. 
It makes me proud to be an American.
God bless the U.S.A.

James Lockhart of Heavener represents District 3 in the Oklahoma House. Call him at home (918) 653-7571 or the Capitol (405) 557-7413, e-mail him at james.lockhart@okhouse.gov or find him on Facebook.

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