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Sunday, December 19, 2010

How to receive the QOVF price on Legacy 60" batting.

How to receive the QOVF price on Legacy 60" batting.

In cooperation with the Legacy Batting distributors, we have worked out the following to assure that batting is only going to volunteers ACTIVELY quilting QOVs. (The distributors order the batting with their regular orders to save on shipping costs; they have to store it; they do not make a cent at this price of $60 plus their shipping.)

Be sure that you:
  • Have completed the “Voluteer to Longarm” Form.
  • Quilt an average of at least 2 QOVs per month as shown by the Longarm/topper records of 24 or more per year "Destination Request" forms, or "Report QOVs Locally Awarded" forms. The forms are listed in the left menu on the homepage. www.qovf.org
  • Request a batting authorization letter by emailing batting@QOVF.org with your contact and participation info. Info will be sent to you for the distributors in your area; you choose one, and your authorization is sent to that dealer.

37 QOVs Presented in New Haven

There is a network of QOV makers in the New Haven County area = Cindy Lewis and Nancy Olson in Hamden, Glee Miner in Wallingford, Ruth Knowlton, Carol Brunt, Donna Robinson, Peg Slubowski and I in Branford. As of May, a “baby Gammill” joined my household so I am now doing some of the longarming. Cindy and Holly Potvin are also responsible for much of the rest of the longarming. I love Pam Kuneicki but not having to ship back and forth to Maryland is a huge help.

Cindy’s husband, Dave Lewis (Saint Dave) now works for the West Haven VA; he drives vets back and forth to the Bronx for radiation therapy. When they “graduate” from that treatment they receive a certificate and a Quilt of Valor. My dear Jack is still very active with both Marine Corps League and Military Order of Purple Heart – thus is another source.

Thru Jack, one of the neat things I got us into is through the Hamden Middle School – in May I took part in the 10th annual Veteran’s Awareness Day. Dave Lewis, Nancy Olson and I had a quilt top for signing; a display and then we presented a QOV to James Onofrio, a Hamden veteran in attendance. Dan Levy, the assistant principal at the Middle School asked me to come do a program with the life skill teachers. I never, ever thought I would teach at a teachers professional development day (dragged Nancy Olson and Peg Slubowski along) and the teachers made blocks for two tops. Peg finished one and I finished the other and did the longarming. At a Veteran’s Day program at the Middle School, Nov. 10th, Quilts of Valor (Nancy, Peg and I) presented the Military Order of Purple Heart Commander (Leon Brown) and Adjutant (Ron Vedrani), each Vietnam vets, with the QOVs the teachers made. We also had a QOV top for the students to sign – that quilt will be presented at the next Veteran’s Awareness Day in May.

Sitting on the top shelf in my sewing room are QOVs ready to go to vets returning from Afghanistan. The state with the help of veteran service organizations like Purple Heart (again Jack) have refurbished five houses across the street from the gates of the Rocky Hill Hospital. Connecticut National Guard troops are expected back soon; they may then realized they have no more job, can’t go back to school – whatever; they will be encouraged to stay at the five refurbished houses. Not sure when and if the 12 bedrooms for males and 4 bedrooms for females will be filled. However, the QOVs are ready for those troops. They will be reported in the next letter to you. I will try (hard) not to be so negligent in reporting. I certainly want to be on the “good girl” list so I can get QOV batting when the next group rate is available.

Early this month Cindy and Dave’s son, Chris posted that it was the sixth anniversary of his injury in Fallujah when eight of his buddies died in the suicide incident. He has left the Marine Corps and despite having burns he is now a firefighter in Beaufort, SC. I reflected when he posted, as I do each time I do a program; the different in my life that incident made and just how much of a change you have made in my life.

I am totally grateful to you for your efforts with QOV and giving me such a worthy outlet for my efforts and energies. Jack and I regularly appreciate our ability to work together for veterans; add in Cindy, Dave, Nancy, Peg, Glee, Donna, etc!

Blessings to you and all the QOV family this season filled with things to be thankful for; keep up your hard work!

HUGS!!!!
Jane Dougherty

Jeff Thorne Speech

http://www.youtube.com/user/charitycrafter?feature=mhum#p/u/0/tp7NZVp4Gr8

http://www.youtube.com/user/charitycrafter?feature=mhum#p/u/1/8IYNcIYhXgY

http://www.youtube.com/user/charitycrafter?feature=mhum#p/u/2/djvN7MDmFc4

In Memory of Ruby K. Hargus



Ruby K. Hargus

LANCASTER: Ruby K. Hargus, 99, went home to be with the Lord on December 5, 2010.

Ruby was born August 13, 1911 in Cicerone, West Virginia to the late Rome and Lula Edwards. She spent her younger days on Ambler Ridge where she met the love of her life Jarrel Hargus. They were married July 10, 1938 and later relocated to the Lancaster, Ohio area.

Ruby retired from Shaw's Restaurant after 30+ years of service. She spent most of her later years volunteering at The Salvation Army in the adult day care, wrapping CHRISTmas gifts and, visiting Nursing Homes with the League of Mercy. She enjoyed sewing for friends and family, recently helping with "Quilts of Valor" for our injured soldiers.

**

Grandma Hargus as we all called her, along with her daughter Nancy, working with the Quilting Buddies, have made over 30 Quilt of Valor quilt tops over the past several years.
Attached are pictures of quilts she made.

~Marilyn Finnegan

Navy Vet Presents QOV to Injured Soldier

Follow this link to view the story http://mywabashvalley.com/fulltext?nxd_id=154976

Joyce's Gift

Joyce’s Gift

As another year comes to an end and we look forward to holiday family gatherings, I hope we all stop and remember in our blessings those families who are not together this season because family members are serving their country and are away from their loved ones.

As cold weather sets in and we turn to our “comfort” food recipes – I’m sharing with you a soup recipe shared with me by a neighbor. It’s fabulous for those cold winter days and one of my favorites. Serve with your favorite bread. You can leave out the sausage… but with the sausage “in” – my husband considers it a “manly” meal. Soup and bread are sufficient J

Black Bean & Sausage Soup

2 T. Olive Oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. Cumin
4 oz. Chopped green chilies
2 – 15 oz cans black beans, undrained
1 – 14.5 oz can petite zesty jalapeno diced tomatoes
1 ½ c. chicken broth
1 lb Italian Sausage Links (cooked and sliced) (I use sweet Italian sausage)

Heat oil. Sauté carrot, onion and garlic about 6 minutes, until tender.
Add cumin and green chilies. Add beans, tomatoes & broth.
Bring to a boil, turn heat to low, cover and simmer 15 mins.
Remove 3 cups to blender and puree until smooth, Return pureed liquid to pot
Add sausage and simmer 15 min or until the sausage is hot.

Enjoy!
Joyce

New Items at QOV Shop!!

News from the QOV Shop!

At long last we have a few new items in the QOV Shop! A new T-Shirt, sweatshirt and a new apron that are all sporting a fabulous new design that our own QOV graphic designer, Connie, fashioned from an idea I had. Thank you Connie!

Check them out at the QOV Shop – http://www.qovf.org/shop/index.php?cPath=1

Free shipping will continue through the end of December.

We have other items in the works as well, so check back often to see what else we come up with.

1st Graders create QOV

Please follow this link: http://www.nevadadailymail.com/story/1686828.html to read a story about a group of 1st graders who completed a Quilt of Valor to send to a veteran along with a "book of Thanks".

14 QOVs presented in Hemet, CA



The Solera Diamond Valley Quilting Angels in Hemet, California managed to give 14 QOV's to some of the community veterans at the Veteran's Day Celebration in the lodge. We lost one of our Angels to Ovarian Cancer, but managed to gain two more and they earned their wings on that day.

Russ Patterson (shown with Jody) is 80 on Veteran's Day and can still wear his uniform. Alonzo was the oldest veteran present - at age 84 (shown with his wife Jenelle holding the red/white/blue QOV.)

~Suzanne Wade

Region Coordinator - CA, AZ, NV, UT for QOV (Quilts of Valor) Foundation

Starr Mountain QOV Quilters


The week of Veteran's Day was a special week for Starr Mountain QOV
Quilters. After several months of diligent work, we made our first
major presentation for the Veteran's Day service at First Baptist
Church in Englewood, Tennessee. (This is where our group meets.) All
veterans were recognized, but our group had the honor of awarding
quilts to those who had served in war. Seen in the picture are: Sissy
Riggs, Gene Riggs (Vietnam and Desert Storm), Billie Reid, Barbara
Pritchard (QOV Representative), Jerome Reid (Korea), Kenny Dickson
(Korea), Bobbie Dickson, David Bull (Vietnam), Lisa Brown, Caleb
Martin (Iraq and Afghanistan), Lacey Martin, Kim Graham accepting for
her husband, Todd Graham (Iraq), Sarah Patterson (a student who worked
on Graham's quilt) and Teena Chrisman (teacher whose students pieced
Graham's quilt). Not pictured: Ralph Davis (Vietnam) and Doyle Hicks
(WWII).

Later in the week we presented quilts to two ladies: one in the
National Guard, who has served in Iraq and will go to Afghanistan in
January and the second is currently serving as a combat photographer
with the Marines in Afghanistan.

What a way to celebrate our wonderful veterans!
~Gene and Beth

I am writing you to let you know that my non-profit quilt group, Quilts for Broken Heroes, will be presenting 23 Quilts of Valor quilts today. We have been invited to attend a dinner at American Legion Post 175 in Severna Park, MD at a dinner being hosted by Salute the Veterans, Inc. We will be presenting quilts made by my group of about 12 dedicated quilters from Edgewood, MD including one quilter from Florida.

Thanks so much for all your help! We look forward to presenting even more QOV quilts as we have presented more than 500 quilts in the last 4.5 years.

Hope you have a blessed Christmas!

Carol Hansen
President/Founder, Quilts for Broken Heroes (soon to have a name change of Quilts for Heroes)

2 WWII Vets are given QOVs


I have been making QOVs for about 6 years and my sister joined me about 2 years ago. We often send them to the hospitals you designate, but this year we had 2 quilts ready the first part of November, and I checked with a local Nursing Home. They just happened to have 2 WWII veterans living there, so my sister and I asked if it would be ok to award these gentlemen with the quilts on Veterans Day. The men and their families were very pleased with the quilts and so appreciative of the gesture. The gentleman in the wheelchair couldn't stop smiling and his wife said he had not smiled that much in weeks. The other gentleman kept saying how much he loved the quilt. It was very gratifying to give these quilts to someone local this time and I hope to be able to do that again next year. We will still be making QOVs to send to the military hospitals also.

Rhonda Harrell Alma Michigan
Jolene Austin - Holt Michigan

My Three Favorite Moments (QOV Presentation)

I have just returned from a Quilt Presentation for the homecoming of Bravo
Company B 155th Infantry Unit Homecoming celebration in Poplarville, MS along
with 10 other quilters from our group. There were 131 soldiers in the unit.
Not all were present as some are assigned in other locations across the country
and we will ship their quilts to them directly. The moments were almost too
special to even begin to describe.

My favorite 3 moments of the day:

1. After all was done solders were loading the remaining quilts on a huge dolly
to go to my truck for us to ship to those not present later. A couple of
soldiers walked up to me and one said “he didn’t get one because he wasn’t
here”. I sent him to the Sgt. with the list of those who were deployed, the
list of those to receive quilts (there are those new to the unit who did not
receive quilts today). The Sgt. walked him over to me and told me he was to
receive a quilt. So I promptly told him to take off his backpack and put it on
the table as I took a quilt off the top of the stack and removed it from the
pillow case. The Sgt. said “you gotta get the experience, ya gonna get wrapped
in love” with a huge grin on his face.

I told the soldier to turn around and I wrapped the quilt around him and told
him this is your superhero cape because you are a hero to us, thank you for your
service and welcome home. The Sgt. said with no prompting from me “you’re home
now, you’re safe, you are wrapped in this love and you are finally safe.” The
soldier lit up with a light I don’t have the words to explain.
I barely kept my composure.

2. After the soldiers were wrapped in their quilts a soldier wearing his quilt
walked up to me and said “this is my daughter”, a girl about 10 or 11, “and this
is her friend”, another girl about the same age. He pointed to the friend and
said “her dad is in Afghanistan and she wants to know if she can get one of
these quilts to send to her dad for Christmas.” I told her these quilts are for
this unit but if you give me your contact information I will see what I can do.
The truth is I had a quilt at home in a different style that we didn’t need for
the presentation today. It was mostly made by a 9 year old quilter and her Mom,
who were both at the event today. I thought it would just be great to let the 9
year old contact her and give her the quilt to ship to her dad for Christmas.
We’ll make that happen next week. When I told the other quilters in the room
about it they almost declared an emergency meeting on the spot saying “yeah, we
can knock out another quilt in a couple of hours with all of us working on it.”
I reminded them that we still have the 9 year old’s quilt that we were looking
for a special place for. There is no way that girl isn’t going to have a red
white and blue quilt to ship to her dad for Christmas.

3. Just after the soldiers were wrapped in their quilts in all the activity a
woman not quite my Mom’s age walked up to me. She stood there facing me for a
moment and she couldn’t talk. I could see her fighting back the emotions and I
just hugged her and said “I know.” She just held on so tight and she was just
overflowing with emotion. She said “you don’t know what this means.” I told
her that we, all of the quilters, are civilians and we are not military families
and no, we do not know. Her father was a POW in WWII. She is married to
Vietnam Vet and her son served in Iraq. Again, I barely kept my composure.
Oh, and she is a quilter! Clearly a new recruit for our group and very anxious
to participate.

There were many other amazing moments. Oh, they presented us with a certificate
of appreciation, I almost forgot. It was a day of moments I will always
remember. How very blessed and very special we all felt to be able to be a
part of this presentation. The soldiers just loved the quilts. One of the
soldiers told me his wife said “be careful with your quilt, don’t leave it
laying around or just put it down, hold onto it, you got one of the good ones.”
He said to her “look around the room, they are all good quilts, it doesn’t make
any difference which one I get, they are all great.”

We arrived with a big SUV and a 4 door pickup loaded with 131 quilts folded, in
pillow cases and neatly stacked. I went in and asked for the dolly. The First
Sgt. promptly volunteered several guys to get the dolly and come unload for us.
The guys were just too cute when they said “man, this is a lot of pillows, who
are all these pillows for?” We said “it is a surprise” and could barely keep
from bursting out laughing. All the soldiers really did think we had a HUGE
stack of pillows in the corner of the room. They had no idea we were there to
present quilts and those were quilts they just hauled in. Only a few of the
commanders knew what we were up to.

While they all returned from Iraq, very sadly one of the soldiers was lost on
Thanksgiving Day in a car wreck here in the US. The First Sgt. had already told
the family about the presentation of the quilts and is taking a quilt to the
soldier’s family this afternoon.

There were too many “thank you” and too many “I can’t believe ya’ll were here in
our training room doing this the whole time we were gone and we had no idea” and
too many “there is no way we can ever thank you enough, you don’t know what this
means” to even begin to describe. And way too many just plain speechless hugs.
I hope at some point everyone who works on quilts for our military gets the
opportunity to be a part of presenting quilts to soldiers like this.

Keep up the good work and thanks to all of those who supported us to get this
done, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Carol Miller

Updates from Region 9

I was invited to be the Veteran's Day guest speaker at St Anne's Catholic Soldarity Meeting in Bethany Beach, Delaware. The woman's group was honoring two women who had served overseas during the Second World War.

I arrived early at the church with five Quilts of Valor in hand. I was surprised to see the entire church hall set up with festive plates, cups and table decoractions. I was expecting a much smaller group. I met with Lois Rubinsohn, the woman in charge of the Soldarity group and she explained the days events and told me I was welcome to put the quilts across one of the tables for display.

Maurine Scanlon served as a nurse and Elsie Cadden served as a shipping clerk for the Army. Both ladies were treated to a wonderful luncheon and fellowship. The Soldarity chair and co­chair each took turns telling about the lives of Maurine and Elsie. They both have had a full and interesting life.

As the guest speaker, I was asked to talk about the Quilts of Valor and how Catherine was inspired to get the organization off the ground. At the close of my program, questions were permitted. One of the women, we both are members of the same quilt guild and a frequesnt visitor to Serendipity Quilt Shop where I work, asked me to tell the group about the Quilt of Valor Day at Serendipity. I explained that the next QOV Day would be January 8, 2011 and that everything need to make a block was provided. All they needed to do was come and join us for the fun of making a block that would join other blocks to make a Quilt of Valor. The excitement in the room was overwhelming. I hope the shop and my QOV partner Laurel Braunstein are ready for the overflow of people.

At the end of the program there was still one surprise left. I asked Elsie and Maurine to please come forward to receive their own Quilt of Valor. To say they were speechless in an understatment. They both came forward in awe and by the time they had QOV's in hand had tears running down their faces.

Maurine told me as we walked out of the church hall together, “ This is beyond my comprehension. Someone made something so wonderful for me, when all I did was the duty I felt compelled to do. It's amazing, absolutely amazing”. All the way home I couldn't help but think how often Laurel and I hear those same words from many QOV receipients. We find that amazing.

Days after this meeting I was contacted by several women asking to have a Quilt of Valor awarded to a family member or close friend. One woman's husband was slowly dieing of cancer. I brought a QOV to work and when she arrived a few days later I sent the Quilt of Valor home with her. All together seven additional Quilts of Valor were awarded due to the Soldarity meeting on Veteran's Day.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Important Notice of Upcoming Event

Hello to the entire QOVF community,
I would like to alert you to the first television screening of an important documentary, Restrepo, which we highly recommend you see.

RESTREPO is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, "Restrepo," named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you.


DIRECTORS' STATEMENT

The war in Afghanistan has become highly politicized, but soldiers rarely take part in that discussion. Our intention was to capture the experience of combat, boredom and fear through the eyes of the soldiers themselves. Their lives were our lives: we did not sit down with their families, we did not interview Afghans, we did not explore geopolitical debates. Soldiers are living and fighting and dying at remote outposts in Afghanistan in conditions that few Americans back home can imagine. Their experiences are important to understand, regardless of one's political beliefs. Beliefs are a way to avoid looking at reality. This is reality.
- Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

QOVF's INVOLVEMENT

Several volunteers from the Quilts of Valor Foundation were able to attend and/or present quilts at the screenings around the country for this amazing film. They believe it may be the best explanation of what 'Touched by War" really means.


It offers to families, communities, and support professionals the insight needed to understand what we demand from our military serving on the front lines.

RESTREPO WATCH IT INFORMATION:

"Restrepo" has its world television premiere on the National Geographic Channel, unedited and with limited commercial interruption, on Monday, November 29, 2010, at nine p.m. ET/PT. Please be advised It may not be suitable for all audiences so please use your own judgment.


Finally, let us continue to support the men and women still serving in harm's way who are in need of QOVs, and keep quilting until they are all covered with quilts of love and comfort.


Quilting to Honor & Comfort our Wounded,


June Moore
Acting Director
Quilts of Valor Foundation
june@QOVF.org

Monday, November 22, 2010

Help get QOVs to Warriors in Florida

Hello quilters from the Stars of Hope, North Carolina.

I have been working with local groups (Chapel Hill-Durham NC) to make quilts of valor for our servicemen and women. Through this effort, I was asked by Catherine Roberts almost 2 years ago to provide quilts for reservists returning from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are individual reservists, USMC and USN, who are called to active duty and deployed to augment active-duty personnel. When they return to the US, most return directly to their civilian life and have no military support group as they are not part of a reserve unit like the Army or National Guard. The Marines and the Navy, cognizant of the problems associated with deployment , plan 3 day weekend workshops for these returning warriors where facilitators and chaplains are available to offer services and hopefully prevent some of the long range problems associated deployment. While not the only area of concern, they focus on signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Many, but not all, of these returning warriors have purple hearts. But surely all have been affected by the trauma of war.
Well, this is where we enter the picture. The coordinators of these Returning Warrior Workshops (RWW) have been able to secure quilts of valor for all of the marines and sailors at several workshops. The quilts are presented at an Honor Banquet on the Saturday evening of the workshop. I have had the honor to assist the chaplains and coordinators in gathering the quilts. Needless to say it is not easy to meet the need for 80-100 quilts at one time. There are 3 RWWs for Marines coming up in the winter 2011. One is scheduled for Pensacola, January 28-30, 2011. I am asking the QOVF groups in Florida for help.

First, we need quilts (patriotic colors preferred but other neutral or darker tones appropriate). They should have labels and meet the minimum Quilts of Valor size (larger fine but not smaller).

Second, it would be great of one or two quilters living in Pensacola or close by could be the primary contacts and receive the quilts. They would be responsible for delivering the quilts to the hotel on the Saturday afternoon of the RWW (Jan29). This would save hundreds of dollars in shipping if quilts could go directly to Pensacola. I have numerous contacts and will continue to help gather the quilts needed but I would have them sent directly to the contact in Pensacola. The deal is-- that we have a quilts for every Marine attending the workshop or none can be presented. The ceremony is very touching and I am sure that 4-5 of you can attend the program and presentation part of the Honor Banquet. Kate Meyers (SE regional QofV coordinator) and I attended a workshop in Nashville, TN. It was very touching. The Marines were so grateful for the outpouring of support and love woven in the fabric of the quilts.
If we are fortunate and get more quilts than needed, Chaplain Shelly Scheibeler my contact, will save the extra quilts for St. Louis and National Harbor, MD for 2 Marine RWWs at those locations. I will be requesting help from QofV groups in those areas. Chaplain Shelly is great and gives an awesome presentation about Quilts of Valor Foundation at the banquet.

If you are willing to be the Florida contact or if you and your guilt can help provide quilts for these warriors please let me know. Call or email me for any questions.

Sue

--
Sue Wolf
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919-923-3436 (C)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Notes From Down Range

Marine Corp Ball Speech 2010

West Palm Beach, FL

By: Cpl Blake M. Benson

First I would like to say thank you for letting me speak to you all tonight. This is by far one of the greatest honors ever in my life, Thank you!

Joining the Marine Corp has always been a dream of mine. This is thanks to my grandfather Sgt. Earl G. Piper United States Marine Corps. Shortly after the Korean War had ended, my Grandfather left the Marine Corps to work for Ford in Michigan where he retired. Even though my grandfather left the active fleet Marine Corps, he could never forget what they had taught him and continued to live his life with honor, courage and commitment. He would always be a Marine and uphold the values the come along with that title. This was my only experience with the Marine Corps throughout my childhood and it would have the greatest impact in my life still to this day. After joining the Marine Corps in his honor after his death I realized a lot of things that I had no clue about before.

The Marine Corps is not just an elite fighting force, it is a brotherhood based on tradition and loyalty to each other. Being a Marine is not something you can just turn on and off at will. It is who you are until the lord sees fit to bring you home. Being a Marine is representing more than just yourself but representing your country and every man and woman that is or has worn that Eagle Globe and Anchor. The Marine Corps is one place that everyone is equal no matter where you are from, your religion, ethnicity or your past. All of what makes you who you are before boot camp is slowly destroyed, so they can make you into the truly honorable people everyone sees today in these uniforms. As General Krulak once said, “For over 235 years our Corps has done two things for this great nation. We make Marines and we win battles.”

A great example of what the honorable General Krulak said can be seen with the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004. I had the honor to serve in this battle with some of the most amazing men I have ever met. Men like Sgt. Wells, Cpl. Marku, LCpl. Holmes, and LCpl. Lucero just to name a few, may God bless them all, lord knows how myself and the rest of my fellow marines miss them. During the Battle of Fallujah my battalion lost 23 marines and had even more wounded, but we still managed to move forward and win the worst battle ever seen by an American force in Iraq. I was in Fallujah with the battalion from November 8th (when the battle kicked off) until November 25th (Thanksgiving Day). I was forced out of the city on Thanksgiving Day due to injuries I received after I and four other marines were ambushed. Even after I left the city the battle continued well in to the month of December. As one marine that served with me once said, “If Fallujah is not hell then it’s the next worse place imaginable.” This rings true still to this day in my opinion.

After leaving Iraq and going to Bethesda National Naval Medical Center I experienced things that would fill me with pride and things that would give most people nightmares. Seeing Marines missing arms and legs truly brings a new point of view on life. With the fresh memories of Fallujah on my mind I could not help but to want to go back and finish the fight with my guys. Unfortunately this was not in the cards for me to do. This fact that I would not see my brothers again til they got home made life even harder on me. This is where I owe my thanks to organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project. This organization did everything they could to welcome the wounded home and made sure we didn’t need anything with the help of other organizations and private donors. This was all surprising to us Marines seeing as how the only news we heard while overseas was how everyone opposed the war and the military involved in it. To know that people actually care about you and what you have done really made things easier on us all. I would like to take a moment and thank the Wounded Warrior Project for everything. Please keep up the amazing work you all have done.

After about a year and a half in the hospital it was decided I could not stay in the Marine Corps and I was medically retired with an Honorable Discharge at this point. This was extremely hard for me to take. I fought with the Marine Corps every step of the way, I called Generals, I offered to change my MOS to a non combat job, I even offered to go reservist. Nothing worked in my favor, so I left the Marine Corps on June 28th 2006. Now I had no job and no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The one thing I wanted to be didn’t want me anymore, I was damaged goods. (cont. from Newsletter:) So after a year of fighting for benefits and working a dead end factory job I decided I wanted to go back to school (something I swore I would never do after barely getting through high school). While in school and seeing how my friends where being tormented from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I figured out where I belong, and where I could do the most good for my brothers in arms. I was going to be a mental health professional. To explain how I came to this decision I will use a quote from General William Thornson US Army, “There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy, everyone else has a second hand opinion.” I full heartedly agree with General Thornson on this statement and feel as if I would be the best man for the job when it comes to helping them when they get home with the mental scars of war.

Though I have not quite met this goal yet I am making significant strides to getting where I want to be. I will have my BA in Psychology come December from Wayne State University and I will be starting graduate school at Nova come January. These are the first two steps to being able to make the impact I want and I will not rest until I have accomplished my goals.

But enough about me and what I want to do, this is our birthday and we still have brothers and sisters overseas fighting. Let’s not forget the sacrifices that young men and women are still giving as we speak. These men and women continue to win every battle, and continue to move this country towards victory over a desperate enemy. The marines have always led from the front and will continue to do so. As 2nd Lt. Richard C. Kennard once said, “My only answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has far more guts, courage, and better officers… These boys out here have a pride in the Marine Corps and will fight to the end no matter what the cost.”

The Marine Corps has the richest and most noteworthy history out of any military in the world. We Marines have put fear in every enemy we have ever faced. Karen Aquilar once said while at the embassy in Somalia, “They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or “we’ll blow you away.” And then they looked up saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and said in Somali “Igaralli ahow,” which means “Excuse me, I didn’t mean it, my mistake.”” This is just a small example of the legacy we have throughout the world. We have been called black boots by the Somalis, yellow legs by the communists in Korea, and Devil Dog by the Germans in World War One just to name a couple. As long as we keep making marines the world will always have something to fear. Rear Admiral Jay R. Stark said “Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They’re aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They’ve got really short hair and they always go for the throat.” With this all being said Marines have always been the one thing every young man and woman have looked to be like.

“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” President Reagan said this of the Corps. This stands true for all of us in this room. We have all raised our right hand and swore the oath to defend the Constitution, and that pride that comes from being the few can never be taken away from any of us. We are looked up to by everyone that has looked in from the outside. Presidents, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard officers, Congressmen, Senators, and the average Joe on the street have all been in awe of the Marine Corps. I have never been prouder of my Corps. We have made the changes but still maintain who we are. You look at other branches of the military and they have made compromises that have cost them their identities, the Marine Corps has not and never will.

In closing, I would just like to thank Gunny Rob McKenna and the Wounded Warrior Project one more time for making this possible, and I would like to say to the rest of you Semper Fidelis Marines and Happy Birthday!!! Thank you!

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Submitted by Karen Fredrickson

Down Range, the words refer to those military men and women serving in a geographic area of conflict, a combat zone. I have asked three amazing women to write the Down Range columns the summer QOV newsletters. I hope that these columns will inform, educate, and personalize the experiences of military families.

Regional News for November

To contact your Regional Coordinator, please visit: http://www.qovf.org/content/regional-coordinators.html

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News From Region 6

Here you go - here are the photos from the latest WWII Honor Flight/QOV recipient

~ Tink Linhart

QUILT OF VALOR made for
T/Sgt. Arnold DeWitt
Serial No. 16155818
WWII 1942-1945
Army Air Corp.
Made By: Sharon DeWitt


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News from Region 7


Along with turning leaves and goblins, October was a good month for getting the word out about the Quilts of Valor Program in Arkansas, Lousiana, Missouri and Mississipi. Several internet quilting boards and quilters were contacted in each state.

A Quilt of Valor Foundation presentation was held to the White County Homemakers Council at Harding University.

The QOVF brochures were shared and people invited to our weekly sit and sew at the American Legion booth during Cabot Fest.

A quilt that was not quite the "right" size was presented to a veteran who was leaving the area. He had been an advocate for Veteran's rights for four years of his time in our town.

A certificate of appreciation for her diligent and excellent work on quilts of valor was presented to Judy Farmer of the Cabot Nimble Thimbles, upon her moving away party.

I'd like to hear more from quilters in Region 7, so feel free to e-mail me anytime at reg7@qovf.org.

~ Sharon Bailey

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News From Region 9

Hello Everyone,

It's so exciting to see Quilts of Valor highlighted today on the Norfolk/Virginia Beach ABC affiliate WVEC. Part one aired this morning and part two will air tomorrow on Veteran's Day when we meet Army Corporal Jonathan Bartlett who was the inspiration for the Tidewater Quilters Guild becoming involved with Quilts of Valor six years ago.

Jonathan received the very first Quilt of Valor and he's never known that we've been making quilts ever since. As of today the Tidewater Quilters Guild has sent 1,062 Quilts of Valor to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center ICU in Germany for presentation to America's most seriously battled wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Go to the link below to see the video filmed at my favorite quilt shop in Virginia Beach,
What's Your Stitch 'n Stuff.

Enjoy and watch for tomorrow's report.

This is the Veteran's Day airing of the second part of the WVEC Quilts of Valor news story that aired yesterday. In this one you get to meet the recipient of the first Tidewater Quilters Guild Quilt of Valor, Corporal Jonathan Bartlett U.S. Army (Retired) of Chesapeake, VA.

~Mary Lynn

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This story of two local Navy SEALs was on the front page of the paper this morning. See attached. As I was reading it I realized that I presented a QOV on behalf of The Tidewater Quilters Guild to LT Redman in his home October 31, 2007. The quilt photo is attached. Funny enough, his house is only about five minutes from mine.
When I met LT Redman he had just returned home to Virginia Beach from National Medical Center Bethesda for some convalescence leave. His jaw was still wired shut because of the bullet going through his face and knocking out some teeth and his right arm had an external device holding the bones together. He told me that while he was applying the tourniquet to his arm wound the shooter shot him in the face. LT Redman is one tough dude because he didn't die and as we read in the story he walked, with assistance, to the rescue helicopter.
He had to continue driving back to Bethesda for additional appointments with his plastic surgeon and the orthopedic surgeon. Portsmouth Naval Hospital here didn't have the expertise to treat, plus he wanted to continue with the physicians he started with. The orthopedic surgeon had once upon a time been a SEAL before attending medical school. Image the sea stories they have exchanged!
It was so great to read the story today and see that LT Redman is doing well and still on active duty. He was pretty worried about his arm when I saw him.


~Mary Lynn

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Notes from Region 10

Tops on my wish list as Regional Coordinator is the request that if you are involved in making QOVs on a regular basis, that you please sign up as a local group - even if you are a "group of one". I often ask people to sign up, but haven't always explained the reasons of why this is important. Longarmers- this applies to you too. I regularly get asked (by email or in person) if there are any groups of people making QOV's in their locale. They may want to work with a group, may have fabric to share, or may want to longarm an occasional quilt without the expense of shipping. I've also received requests for QOV's for particular events. Having local groups and longarmers to draw upon reduces the time and expense of shipping quilts.

Another timely topic is the fast-approaching holiday season. We'll have less time to work on QOV's, but the need for them doesn't take a holiday. Do you have red and white fabric left over from those Christmas placemats you're making that you can use for QOV's? Do you have any leftover blocks and cut pieces from earlier workshops? Can
you make a block or two while your cookies are baking? How about setting aside "Black Friday" as QOV Friday?


Barbara Chojnacki

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Help!


I have never made a request like this before; I am usually on the other end that sends quilts to fill a need.

I have a very short notice need/request. 100 QOVs by December 1st 2010. I just found out this morning.

I just learned of a group in my area that is made up of Veterans with PTSD, Traumatic brain injury, and some have cancer from exposure to chemical warfare. They are struggling with issues like "fitting back into normal life" many have night terrors and hyper sensitivity issues. Please help me cover this group of warriors suffering from these invisible wounds.

I have assured the director of this program that when there is a need the quilts will come.

They are having a banquet December 7th.

If you can help please contact me at Lori@QOVF.org , and I will give you the information of where to send the quilts.

Thank you for your dedication to our mission.

Lori Kutch
Wenatchee, WA
Deputy Director
QOVF







Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010




Yesterday I got up early and hit the ground running. I hustled and bustled to get all my chores done and make preparations because this was going to be a very special day! My friend Debby and I were invited to attend two Veteran’s Day Assemblies and present Quilts of Valor. How exciting is that??

Our first stop was Eastmont Junior High. It is a huge school with a very large student body. There was a lot of activity and noise in the Gym as the students gathered for the Assembly. The student Master of Ceremonies took the microphone and announced the Veterans Day assembly would begin with the presentation of the colors. A stillness fell over the room. The only sound was the click of the shoes and abrupt commands of the color guard. The choir sang the national anthem. All of the students were on their feet with hands on their hearts. It was really quite touching. A short history of Veteran’s Day was read. and then the program continued. Staff members with children serving in the Armed forces were recognized, then Veterans from the School District were acknowledged, and finally three staff members were called up. Debby and I were honored to present Quilts of Valor to these three teachers. The students listened intently to the QOV story and then gave thunderous applause as their teachers were handed thequilts. The closing ceremony was the retiring of the colors and taps. It was a wonderful experience.

Our second presentation was Cascade Elementary School. It was fun to watch to students assemble, sort of like herding puppies. When the Principal stepped to the microphone and told the purposed of the gathering and the expectations the room fell quiet. The students recited the pledge of allegiance, read little verses pertinent to the day and sang patriotic songs. Then a little boy stood with pride as he spoke of his daddy and of his service to our country. When he finished his tribute he introduced his Daddy. Debby and I helped him present his father with a Quilt of Valor and the son threw his arms around his Dad’s Neck. We were so blessed to be able to share in that moment.

As we celebrate Veteran’s Day let’s keep in mind the commitment, and personal sacrifices those serving and have served have made. May they always be treated with honor and respect and know they have our gratitude.
Lori Kutch
Deputy Director
QOVF