Monday, March 16, 2015

Comfort For Those Who Served

An email received from one our Regional Coordinators"

"During my tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have heard about the Quilt of Valor from one of the soldiers that was assigned to one of the Marine units and I have always thought that this was a wonderful idea and a huge comfort for those who have served.  As a veteran, I never thought about the sacrifices that I have done; other than it was my duty and mission to get it done and remembering those fallen angels whom have given their lives for the freedom that I now enjoy.  Not a moment that goes by that I think about the lives of my men and those that I was so close to and it's hard to not take it personal.  My mere words can only express my gratitude to you and the women who will put my quilt together but I hope to meet these gentle angels in person and to personally thank each of them for the labor of love, time and energy into each of the many quilts that they have prepared for so many veterans."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What Happens To A QOV When A Veteran Passes On?

Recently we were asked, "What happens to a quilt when the veteran passes on?"

Our response:

A Quilt of Valor is an Award. They are not “on loan.” We, the quilters, the awarders, are no longer in charge with what happens to a veteran’s Quilt of Valor when he or she passes. We put a label on our quilts so that they will serve as a reminder for generations to come that this family member has served and sacrificed for all of us. Perhaps it has even served as a way for that veteran to open up and share some of what they were required to do in defense of this country. 
If asked by the family, we would tell them to cherish it as they did the veteran to whom it was awarded. To pass it along to children and grandchildren. We would hope there are many years of comfort and warmth left in the QOV for those left behind.
For those who die without family, there is someone who will take care of the deceased last wishes. What would they do with his/her Purple Heart? Metal of Honor? Many family members said their veteran asked that their Quilt of Valor be displayed at the funeral or laid over their casket. It if is buried with this veteran, so be it. It is no longer ours to decide. In no case would we take it back and re-award it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

34 Veterans where awarded Quilts of Valor.

From one of our Regional Coordinators:

Saturday January 24th, 2015 Comfort and Healing was served on a Patriotic Platter of “Welcome Home” as 34 Veterans where awarded Quilts of Valor.
 
The South Bay Blue Star Moms - Sewing Stars and the Silicon Valley QOV State Coordinator Jerilyn Lightfoot and assistance from the Community all partnered together to put on the Second Annual Quilts of Valor Ceremony held at The Santa Clara American Legion Post 564.

34 Recipients where honored (those in attendance) and where awarded their life-time Quilt of Valor for their service to our Nation (WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf/Iraq/Afghanistan).

 The American Legion Hall was transformed by the patriotic display of QOV encompassing the room and walls. Recipients and their guest where greeted by Blue Star Moms. Many guests learned about QOV for the first time. On hand was a Vintage Featherweight and Sewing items to show the quilting process and literature. QOV banners and posters where everywhere!

Cathy Crowder was the Master of Ceremonies and was assisted by SBBSM QOV Group Leader Ida Henscheid. Ida’s Core QOV team where introduced Cathy Crowder, Debbie Parks and Jerilyn Lightfoot. Gloria Cervantes lead the invocation. Harvey Mayhill was the keynote speaker and gave an outstanding, dynamic speech addressing the veterans and legacy and importance of the Quilts of Valor and our mission today. Harvey applauded the military families and proudly awarded his personal lifelong friend Dr. Andrew Froumis his QOV. The QOV recipients where indeed Welcomed HOME after his speech! Jerilyn spoke about the quilting process introducing the audience to quilting terms comparing them to military acronyms. She spoke about the value of community assistance and thanking local supporters, schools and actively recruited members to join QOV in order to meet increasing need for QOV. Jerilyn handed Harvey a QOV called “California Dreaming” and requested him to find a recipient and award it in South Carolina.   

The most exciting part of the day you ask? – Awarding Recipients their lifetime QOV.  The room was aglow and the smiles and cheers brightened and touched our very core. Quilts we worked on, touched, loved and knew so well …  parted from our hands then magically bonded to their new rightful owner.

A special Quilt of Honor was also presented to Gold Star Aunt Bev Hromec her nephew was Army Captain Ian. P. Weikel,  KIA  Balad, Iraq April 18, 2006. She was deeply moved and embraced by those in attendance.

 Group photographs where taken amidst the cheers of the men and woman all wrapped up in their Quilts of Valor. No two alike, yet HONORED brothers and sisters in arms. United.

 Guests where then invited to a reception elegantly prepared and hosted by members.

The South Bay Blue Star Moms are an amazing group comprised of not only Blue Star Moms but they also have “man – sewers” and students and regular folks in the community who care and help sew. This group is solid and very talented and dedicated. In fact, it might not surprise you that this particular group has become a collaboration model of partnership; as they are both Blue Star Moms (BSM) and QOV Group members. As the need for care packing is dwindling down, BSM are expanding finding new ways to support their community. What better way than to thank a veteran and support active duty military. This group should be recognized as they are a role model by which other BSM groups and QOV groups can form alliances in 2015. I’m also proud to serve, and sew along the side of them as one of their Blue Star Mom Sisters and as their QOV State Coordinator.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

‘Twas the night before National QOV Sew Day


A fun poem. We hope that Clement Moore will enjoy it!

‘Twas the night before National QOV Sew Day and all thro’ the house,
Not a creature was sleeping except maybe the mouse;
The R/W/B strips were hung on a rack with care,
In hopes that 10:00 AM soon would be there;
Our quilters in Alaska and Hawaii were still nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of quilting swirled in their heads,
With Papa snoring in his cap and I too restless to consider a nap,
Had just settled down with tea, waiting for the first sign of light,
My “tool belt” attached and cutter in hand – I’m sure I was a sight!
When up in my sewing room there arose such a clatter,
I sprang up the stairs to see what was the matter.
Down the hall I flew to find out the facts,
Tore open the door and stopped in my tracks,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But all of my quilting buddies ready to sew when the time was here
I whistled, cheered and shouted - what is the plan?
       (I called them by name)
It was Susan and Kathi, Rebecca & Pat, Oh Sheila, Ruthie, Ginny and Anna;
They were dress’d all in jammies, from their neck to their feet,
Some were standing and others had already taken their seat.
Their eyes – how they twinkled! Some had dimples and some not,
Their cheeks were like roses – were they already feeling hot?
And I laugh’d when I saw them turning with a twist and a jerk.
They were all ready to get to work.
The clock struck ten, and with my nod, they all began to applaud.
The fabric, Oh My, it all flew, what with the cutting, and ironing and sewing too.
They told stories, they laughed and they cried;
Everyone was there to greet me when I stepped inside.
I fed them good food for they had accomplished much on that February day.
Then finally as the sun was setting and out to their cars,
They were making their way,
I heard them in unison exclaim, ere they drove out of sight
– Happy National Sew Day to all and to all a good night.

Clement Moore, author – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Friday, January 16, 2015

18 QOV's for 18 Korean War Vets


In October of 2013, 136 Korean War veterans made the Honor Flight from Omaha to Washington, D.C. where they were escorted around numerous War Memorials. Sara Kenny, our Nebraska Volunteer Coordinator, was later contacted and asked if we could supply Quilts of Valor to all 136 of these wonderful vets, and she said "yes!"
 
 
 
 
 
A number of quilts were made by 4-H kids of York, Nebraska, and the rest by the Lincoln QOV Group and Lincoln Quilters Guild. Today 18 of the Korean War Vets of Lancaster county were presented with their Quilts of Valor. 

With the help of the Veterans Service Office many of the other Korean War vets throughout the state were awarded their Quilts of Valor. 
 
It was an honor to commemorate the service of these brave men.