IDA Ambassador, Juliet Madsen

Juliet Madsen is a mother of three, a wife of 20 years and a retired United States Army veteran of two wars. She has flown an airplane, driven a tank, thrown grenades and fired all kinds of weapons. Juliet was a paramedic firefighter, forensic research assistant, and has two college degrees; one in biology and one in public health.  In 2004, her convoy was hit by a roadside bomb, changing the course of her life forever. With a traumatic brain injury, she has endured years of physical and occupational therapy.

Juliet’s passion is quilting her own original works of art. After retiring from the military, she founded Stroke of Luck Quilting. Her quilts have been displayed in some incredible places such as the White House, the Library of Congress, the Pentagon, various governor offices, state capitols, airports, galleries, and in public and private collections around the world.

Much of her work is to raise funds for organizations that support veterans and individuals with invisible medical issues like her. Juliet has in many cases donated her quilts to individual recipients and organizations such as the VFW, DAR, VA, American Legion, Operation TBI, CAUSE, Wounded Warrior, FOB Summit County and IDA to name a few. Juliet created the Ultimate Sew-In to raise money for Paralyzed Veterans and the 2010 Wheelchair Games. Along with other volunteers, Juliet created almost 500 quilts for other soldiers, like herself, injured in the War on Terrorism.  Juliet has found creating these custom quilts as a way she can give back to the wonderful programs that have supported her over the years.

You labor over tiny frayed pieces and then eventually it all comes together. This is the same as life; you work and work and at the end of the day you look back and say, “This is who I am.” For better or worse. Faded fabric or not. ~Juliet Madsen

In addition to quilting, Juliet is the author of the book Object of Deployment, part of the Veterans Book Project. She is also starting to participate in triathlons. As of October 2011, she has been in three Triathlons and has earned two first place medals. Juliet is currently in training to participate in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco in June 2012.

Quilt Created by Juliet Madsen

IDA is honored to have someone with such strength in adversity and love for others living with Invisible Disabilities as one of our ambassadors. We met Juliet when she was nominated and chosen to receive the 2011 IDA Honorable Mention Volunteer Honors Award. Because of her journey with illness and pain, Juliet can truly relate to and understand the difficulties life brings.

Please visit Juliet’s website at She is available for speaking engagements and inquiries about her quilts for veterans and organizational fundraisers.

2011 Honor Awards Banquet – Juliet Madsen, Honorable Mention Volunteer Award.

Interview with Juliet on Sewing up the wounds of war. Story Written by Dave Delozier, presented by Adele Arakawa. February 9, 2012.