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Thursday, May 19, 2022
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-384526f9-960a-b858-d88c-f15eea20c19e"><span>Paige Arnold, a 24-year-old UF public relations senior, holds up a quilt with UF professor Deanna Pelfrey at a Collegiate Veterans Society meeting on Thursday. Each patch on the quilt has a note from a UF undergraduate student to a veteran.</span></span></p>

Paige Arnold, a 24-year-old UF public relations senior, holds up a quilt with UF professor Deanna Pelfrey at a Collegiate Veterans Society meeting on Thursday. Each patch on the quilt has a note from a UF undergraduate student to a veteran.

The messages were written by hand. Some were short, others long.

“Thanks for keeping us safe,” read one.

“You kick ass,” read another.

The words of encouragement, each written by a UF student, were stitched onto a quilt and dedicated to a group of about 30 military veterans attending UF on Thursday evening.

The students behind the quilt are part of the 2016 Bateman Case Study Competition team that competed in a national contest to develop a successful public-relations campaign.

The Bateman team’s campaign, “Bet on Vets,” strived to bring students and student-veterans closer together.

The quilt was given to the UF Collegiate Veterans Society.

Pelfrey, who grew up in Kentucky, said she wanted to make a quilt because she knew it was a special tradition for community members in her home state.

“We hope they are encouraged by the appreciation from students on campus,” she said.

One of the presenters, Paige Arnold, said her addition to the quilt was a patch she made for her sister.

“Thank you for encouraging me to never stop learning,” the 24-year-old public relations senior wrote on the cloth.

Trey Rattray, 28, served in the National Guard for six years and is the president of the veteran’s group.

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He wants the quilt to be hung where veterans can see it every day, the UF computer engineering senior said.

“I think the quilt represents the commitment between UF students and their collegiate veterans,” he said.

@merylkornfield

mkornfield@alligator.org

Paige Arnold, a 24-year-old UF public relations senior, holds up a quilt with UF professor Deanna Pelfrey at a Collegiate Veterans Society meeting on Thursday. Each patch on the quilt has a note from a UF undergraduate student to a veteran.

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