By Woodrow Polston
MIDDLETOWN—The Susanna Randolph Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution voted to present a Quilt of Valor last week to Lindell Barton of rural Middletown for his service in Vietnam. The presentation was conducted at Barton’s home outside of Middletown. DAR member Teresa Wenzel, read from the certificate before presenting the quilt.
“In 2003, a quilter named Catherine Roberts started the movement that became the Quilt of Valor,” said Wenzel. “Her son was in Iraq and she had this nagging feeling that she needed to do something to make him feel like he was loved way over seas. And so, she had a dream one night, and she saw him wrapped in one of her quilts. From that dream she decided to start the Quilt of Valor. Thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your valor for serving our nation,” she added.
Barton went into the Army in 1964 and was a Spc. 4th Class. He served in the Vietnam War in 1965. Susan Beshears, with the help of Joy Davis and Teresa Wenzel, unfolded and presented the quilt to Barton. Wenzel read the label on the back of the quilt.
“This quilt of Valor is proudly presented to Lindell Barton Spc. 4th Class U. S. Army, on May 12, 2022, at his home near Middletown, Mo., by the Susanna Randolph Chapter, DAR of Vandalia, Mo. Thank you for your service and sacrifice to our country in Vietnam from 1965 to 1966. This quilt was pieced by Susan Beshears of Wellsville, Mo., and quilted by Valory Wright of Mexico, Mo.,” said Wenzel.
After the quilt was presented to Barton, members of the DAR visited with his family. Barton recalled his time in the service and his return home.
“I was an MP while I was in Vietnam,” said Barton. “When I came back home, I was 26 years old, and I went into farming here where I was born and raised. Soldiers coming back from the war didn’t receive a very warm welcome. I remember being told that we shouldn’t be seen in uniform. I personally received a good reception though. There were many memorable experiences over there in Vietnam. One of them, was riding on a boat with 3,500 men that was made to hold only 2,500. My best friend over there, his last name was Gonzales, so we just called him Speedy. After I came back home, I realized that I never knew his first name. About 15 years ago, I went to a reunion, and he was there. He had a whole box full of pictures of us together. On the back of the photos, he had written ‘Missouri Hillbilly’ because he didn’t know my name either. And what was ironic, was that he worked in San Antonio, Texas, and would come to Mexico and Vandalia once a year on business,” he added.
The first Quilt Of Valor was awarded in November of 2003, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, to a young soldier from Minnesota. Among the many veterans who have received a quilt, one of the notable recipients was John McCain.
According to their website, Quilts of Valor is a movement of more than 10,000 volunteer members across 600 groups in all 50 States. They are represented by almost 700 volunteer leaders whose objective is to bring healing to service members and veterans. They believe in gratitude and that their quilts bring a tangible comfort to those they award. They have made and awarded more than 250,000 quilts throughout the U. S. and overseas. Quilts of Valor have traveled from the U. S. to war-stricken areas, been carried by medics in mobile hospital units, awarded on aircraft carriers and on foreign soil. Most of the quilts are awarded in communities across the U.S.