Nightly News   |  October 21, 2013

A quilt, and some comfort, for wounded soldiers

Quilts of Valor, an organization that sews quilts for wounded soldiers, sends blankets to military hospitals abroad and also gives them to veterans at stateside ceremonies. NBC’s Erica Hill reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> a number of viewers said they were touched by the photo of a young wounded army ranger thought to be unconscious who struggled to salute as a purple heart was pinned to his blanket. about that blanket in the photo. some sharp-eyed viewers saw that and then they knew they were looking at something familiar, something they had contributed toward the comfort of our returning veterans. our making a difference report tonight comes from nbc's erica hill .

>> reporter: the moving determined salute from army ranger josh hargit made some women stop and look again.

>> i said, that's our quilt. that's fantastic. our quilt found a home.

>> reporter: draped across his hospital bed was a blanket lovingly stitched by quilts of valor, a nationwide network of 10,000 volunteers.

>> quilters believe every quilt tells a story.

>> reporter: susan gordon is the executive director.

>> we are here because we are patriots. we want to share the talents we have with the people who are guarding our freedoms.

>> there is nothing like being wrapped in the love of a warm quilt.

>> the guys downtown love eagles.

>> reporter: this group of quilters based north of atlanta sets up shop once a month, combining skills and swatches to comfort service members around the world. this group alone has produced more than 400 quilts since january.

>> keeps me out of trouble. i didn't realize i made 26 quilts already.

>> reporter: some of the more than 90,000 distributed since catherine roberts started the organization in 2003 . each one unique.

>> she called it flying eagles.

>> reporter: these squares were designed by local third graders.

>> i asked them to interpret what freedom means to them.

>> reporter: for englebird shield it's a chance to remember her husband, a veteran. she sews a small piece of his shirts into the quilts.

>> i attach it some place in the quilt.

>> p many veterans say this is the first time anyone has said thank you for your service.

>> we put the fabric together. nobody sees what you do, but you hold us together.

>> reporter: a hand-stitched embrace to honor their service to america. erica hill , nbc news, lawrenceville, georgia.

>> by the way, we have an update tonight on the man in the original photo. army ranger josh hargis. his wife taylor shared us this photo of josh sitting upright with their dog named dent who is happy to see daddy. lt wait until dent finds out they will be real parents in a few months and bring home another family member. that's our broadcast