May has been a special month. Three "healings" have taken place. I would like to share each with you, for it is because of our mission to cover those Touched by War, they have happened.
Nearly a year ago, a quilt was requested for a Vietnam Veteran. Made and labeled, I tried to get in touch with him. I left plenty of phone messages with no reply. In April, I informed the Veteran who made the request of the lack of response from Jim. He said Jim had been having a pretty tough time and had literally "dropped out".
May 14, I a phone message informed me Jim was at a local tavern. A call to the tavern confirmed he was still there. I grabbed the quilt and made my way across town. As I presented his Quilt of Valor, the place erupted in applause. Jim grabbed me and gave me the tightest hug I've had in a long time. There were hand shakes and good will flowing within the walls of the tavern. A call later that evening confirmed what had taken place, "Sharon, you brought him home, you brought him home!"
Well over a year ago, my friend ask that I go with her and present a quilt to a man leaving the psychiatric ward in our local hospital. She had two quilts with her. She said the chaplain's brother was a Vietnam Vet and had suffered greatly, in and out of the hospital. She asked if she could make a quilt for him. The reply back from the brother was, "NO, give it to somebody else. I won't accept anything from anybody." She gave it to the chaplain telling him she hoped Mike would reconsider. Imagine my surprise on May 24, a call from Mike thanking us profusely for the gift of his Quilt of Valor. He had a special favor to ask. Would I be able to make a special quilt for his buddy, also an infantryman in Vietnam? He had memorabilia that was special to them both and would like it incorporated into a special QOV. When he was in town next time, could he drop it off at my house. The answer, of course, is yes. When I meet him, I have a hug for him. Welcome home soldier, welcome home.
Last but not least, Lewis-Clark QOV held our Under Our Wings rally and block challenge party on May 21. We had over 85 quilt kits. These kits contain 12-12" finished blocks, sashing, borders and binding. Each kit was put in a 14" pizza box and 47 women came together to stitch as many of the tops together as we could. At the end of the day, we planned presentation of 16 Quilts of Valor to local Vietnam Veterans. I received a call informing me one of our Veterans had been hospitalized the evening before. Bob had pneumonia and some severe blood problems. Following presentation, we went to the hospital and presented Bob his quilt. He asked if we could cover him with it. An email from my friend informed us, "You scored again!" Bob was released from the hospital the next day, he spent 3 days wrapped in his quilt and is as good as new!
I have been privileged to bestow well over 250 QOV's in our local area. It is our stitches of love that begin the healing process. The hugs, the tears and the love pour forth from our Veterans. I always feel there is a little Divine intervention taking place. We DO make a difference in the lives of others.