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!