Rusty Girvin displays the handcrafted gift he received as a surprise, a token of appreciation for his service to the country. (The Enterprise/John Braese) Rusty Girvin displays the handcrafted gift he received as a surprise, a token of appreciation for his service to the country. (The Enterprise/John Braese)

Since 1936, Rusty Girvin has lived and farmed in the Vale area – taking some time away from the area to serve in World War II, for three years and three months.


“I served in the South Pacific during that time,” explained Girvin. “I made it up to the rank of sergeant.”


Returning to Vale after the war, Girvin farmed before finally retiring.


Last week, Girvin received an unexpected visit and surprise from members of the Vale Veterans Association. Answering the door to his home, Girvin was presented with a quilt as a small token of appreciation for his service to his country.


“I was shocked,” Girvin said. “This is really a beautiful quilt and I am honored to receive it.”


The quilt is one of 6,000 that have been presented to active duty military, returning wounded, honorably discharged and veterans by America’s Mothers Operation Quilts. The quilts are handmade by members of the group with a heart label placed close to the recipient’s heart when used.


“So far, we have given out 13 quilts to World War II veterans around the area,” said Judy Carothers, spokeswoman for the group.


The group first started after 9/11, sending quilts to deployed military personnel. After other groups also started sending items to those deployed, the group switched gears and starting making the quilts for local recipients.


“We are just finishing up and preparing to present three quilts to members of the Payette Police Department,” Carothers said.


“Everything is paid for by members of the group or through donations,” she said.


With four members busily quilting, the group is looking for others to help with talent, materials, or financial assistance to offset shipping costs.


“We would love to have some help,” Carothers said. “We are a fun group, and I think others would enjoy time with us and enjoy what we do for veterans.”


For more information on the group or to donate, contact Carothers at 541-216-1872.