Father and son, ages 98 and 68, both veterans, gifted handmade quilts as "thank you for their service"

BURLINGTON -- Two extraordinary veterans were honored Sunday, February 19th in Burlington -- a father who served in Vietnam, and his father, who served in World War II. They each received handmade quilts from a group called "Quits of Valor."

"I was in seven documented fire fights and six more undocumented," Jeffrey Schimek said.

68-year-old Jeffrey Schimek served in Vietnam, and his 98-year-old father Harold Schimek is a World War II veteran.

"I was a third class petty officer on a river patrol boat. He was one of the first guys that entered Japan," Jeffrey Schimek said.

Harold and Jeffrey Schimek

Both were surprised Sunday when Ellen Weber knocked on their door.

Ellen Weber

"It's just a way of saying 'thank you for your service.' It's a hug of gratitude -- a quilted hug of gratitude," Weber said.

Weber is with Quilts of Valor -- a national group created in 2003. Weber became active with the local chapter five years ago.

"My son was in the Army," Weber said.

Each quilt is handmade -- all just as unique as the brave men and women who receive them.

Harold Schimek

Rachel Schimek

"It was hard for both my dad and grandfather to come home from war and not be recognized for the battle they fought for everyone's freedom," Rachel Schimek said.

Rachel Schimek nominated her father and grandfather for the honor.

"Receiving this Quilt of Valor -- even though my grandfather is a little quiet at times, I know he is very happy with the recognition today," Rachel Schimek said.

Harold Schimek

Both men are now able to feel the warm love of strangers, the kindness of family and the gratitude for their service.

"It was just unexpected and I don't feel worthy. There are a lot of other people who deserve it more," Jeffrey Schimek said.

Harold Schimek and his wife Shirley just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary this February. Shirley cleaned rifles for the Army during the war.

Quilts of Valor

So far, across the country, Quilts of Valor has given more than 151,000 vets a quilt.

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