Jim Chapman, Canadian Veteran of the Korean War, and Latest Recipient of a Quilt of Valor

On the 20th February, in a touching ceremony, held at the Windsor Sportsmen’s Club, Jim Chapman was given an American Quilt of Valor by Anna Donatucci, in recognition for his service in the US Forces.

Chapman, a Canadian citizen, was living and working in Detroit early in 1950 when the Korean War broke out.  At age 24, this plumber’s apprentice was ready for an adventure, so when he was drafted, he went off to serve his adopted country.   He went through basic training in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and then shipped out to face just over a year of rain, mud and guerrilla-style warfare.  When he was shipped back to the United States, he settled again in Windsor, becoming friendly with many other Canadian veterans who fought in Korea.

Jim Chapman joins around 150,000 veterans who have been honored to have a quilt made for them by the members of the Quilts for Valor Foundation.  8,383 Canadian veterans have also received quilts.

The red, white and blue quilt made by a quilter in Michigan was a token of thanks for the active service undertaken by Chapman.  Draping the quilt over 89-year old Chapman’s shoulders, Donatucci said, “All we can offer is ‘Thank you.’ You are our hero.”  At the same ceremony, in front of seven of Jim’s Korean War veteran friends, he was also awarded his 50-year membership medal of the sportsmen’s club.

The quilt was made by the American Foundation in response to a request from Janet Bergeron of the Windsor and Essex branch of the Canadian Quilts of Valor Foundation, Windsor Star reported.

Chapman is sitting in a wheelchair, with his chest covered in medals, was thrilled with his gift saying, “I didn’t think it would be anything like this.  It makes me feel really good.”

The quilts are intended as a token of the appreciation from the entire country.  Not only is the quilt a wonderful and thoughtful gift, but it will also keep Jim Chapman toasty warm during the cold months, as well as becoming a family heirloom.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE