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LT Paula Godes, USN, with The Comfort Quilt aboard the USNS Comfort. A new exhibit, TheComfort Quilt, opened at the Women’s Memorial on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2004. (See images from the exhibit here.)

Crew members aboard the USNS Comfort began the huge quilt during the hospital ship’s deployment to the Persian Gulf as Operation Iraqi Freedom began in 2003. The project grew and quilters from across the United States sent donations of material and supplies. After the ship’s return, the Falls Church Quilt Unlimited Guild of Virginia completed the project.

In the Persian Gulf, the crew treated coalition sick and wounded, Iraqi civilians and Iraqi prisoners of war. Photographs and a scrapbook about the ship, the crew and the patients highlight experiences aboard ship, the meaning of the voyage for the crew and the significance of the quilt. Excerpts from oral history interviews give a glimpse of the impact of treating injured Coalition forces and providing long-term care to wounded Iraqi men, women and children.

The exhibit is on display indefinitely.