July 17, 2021 on a lovely Saturday at the Community Building in Haswell, Colorado in front of hundreds of family members from across the country a special presentation was made to U.S. Air Force Veteran Floyd M. Griswould in the form of a Quilt of Valor. The presentation was made by members of the Colorado Prairie Quilters group, a newly affiliated group of the national Quilts of Valor association, an organization that has volunteers all across the country. The Colorado Prairie Quilters group services the six counties of Prowers, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Crowley, Bent and Otero.
The presentation was made by Colorado Prairie Quilters members Carole Spady and Michelle Nelson. Spady stated in her presentation to Griswould, “We enjoy making quilts to honor those we consider our heroes. In 2003, a quilter named Katherine Roberts started the movement that became Quilts of Valor when her son was deployed in Iraq. Since that time, 275,986 Quilts of Valor have been awarded. Our mission is to honor service members and veterans who have been touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. We define valor as strength of mind, spirit, courage, and the quality of mind enabling someone to face danger or hardship. Each quilt brings a three-part message from our hearts. First, we honor our veterans for their service, for leaving all that you hold dear and for standing in harm’s way in a time of crisis protecting us from the effects of war. Next, our quilters know that freedom is never free. The cost of freedom is the dedication of men and women like you. This quilt is meant to say thank you for your sacrifice. And finally, the quilt is meant to offer you comfort and remind you that you are forever in our thoughts and our hearts. You are appreciated. You are remembered. For those of us who have never seen combat, who have never been in a war zone, such experiences are beyond our capacity to comprehend, but we believe that these Quilts of Valor have the ability to offer both warmth and comfort. We hope that when you experience a hard time or need the warmth of a grateful hug you will wrap the quilt around yourself, and it will provide you the comfort that we have sewn into every seam.”
Spady and Nelson then introduced Floyd M. Griswould who was the recipient of the newly created Quilt of Valor. Griswould is a Kiowa County native. He grew up in the Arlington area and went to school in Arlington until his senior year. He graduated from Ordway High School in 1954. Griswould enlisted in the United State Air Force on May 21, 1956 obtaining the rank of Airman 2nd Class as an Aircraft Weapons System Technician. Floyd served our country at Parks Air Force Base in Oakland, CA; at Lowery Air Force Base in Denver, CO; at the Richards Gebaur Air Force Base in Kansas City, Missouri; and at McGuire Air Force Base in Trenton, NJ. Additionally, Floyd served in North Africa on a tour of duty, and then volunteered to serve in Bitburg, Germany. He holds a ribbon for service in the European Theater.
Griswould served during the Cold War Era. In that time of uncertainty in our country, Floyd, in his role as an Aircraft Weapons System Technician, was on the forefront of missile technology. As part of his duty, Floyd competed in Missile Meets, a competition to develop necessary skills to destroy missiles and aircraft. During the Cold War the threat of missile attacks were imminent and his work in this area was crucial to the safety of our nation. Griswould was discharged in May of 1960 and stayed in the reserves for two more years.
But Griswould’s service did not stop there as he went on to serve in law enforcement becoming the Sheriff in Kiowa County for four years. He continued his career in law enforcement, first in Rio Grande County, and then retiring from the Department of Corrections in 2001.
Once Griswould’s background was described, Spady and Nelson wrapped the quilt around Griswould’s shoulders and finished their presentation stating, “We honor you for leaving all you hold dear to serve whether in time of crisis or in time of peace. This Quilt of Valor unequivocally says thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor serving our nation. On behalf of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, Floyd, welcome home and thank you for allowing us to recognize you.”