By JEFFREY POWELL
All across the United States quilting organizations are piecing together unique gifts for soldiers and sailors to commemorate their service to us all. Locally, the Chautauqua Quilters Guild (CQG) has taken it upon themselves to honor former U.S. Navy aviation rescue swimmer Robert Parizo with a quilt they have titled “American Valor.” The project was chaired by CQG member Jane Krick. Krick started the quilt in January and since then more than 20 CQG members have lent a hand in the quilt’s completion.
“Robert and his family go to church with one of our guild members,” said CQG first vice-president Cathy Butts. “He is a former member of the military and has paid the price for our freedoms. He and his family are very deserving of this recognition. We are honored to make this quilt for him and his family.”
The Parizo family received their quilt during a CQG meeting on Monday morning held at the Walton County Extension Service. The Parizo children each also received a Hug-A-Bear stuffed animal of their very own.
“PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] has an impact on soldiers and their families. People should be aware but not afraid of this situation,” said Parizo. “It is an amazing feeling that these ladies would make my family this quilt. I appreciate that very much, this is an amazing group of ladies. I hope they receive many blessings from this gesture. This is great for my entire family.”
Parizo worked in support of Operation Iraqi freedom and Enduring Freedom. He also was part of 110 rescues after hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, one young girl his crew had just rescued died in his ams on the way to receive medical attention.