Tuesday, March 20, 2012

QOV Thanks from Maine


Hello-


I believe I am sending this e-mail to Ms. M. I found your name on the
QOV website as the regional coordinator for the State of Maine. I recently
received a QOV that was pieced by Ms. Barbara Campbell and quilted by Ms.
Robin Zelonis. There was a lovely card inside written by Barbara but there
was no address included and I would like to send a thank you to both
Barbara and Robin. If there is an address I can send a card or if you could
forward this email (or both) I would appreciate it.


I am a military spouse and until November 2011 I was a civilian registered
nurse working at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. I am here in
Germany with my husband who is in the Army.


 I worked at Landstuhl on one of the inpatient wards for almost 3 years. My husband recently changed his position at the hospital and as a result it became difficult for both of us to work full-time and care for my 3 year old son so I left my nursing position. Your quilt was presented to me as a thank you for my service at the hospital.  I am so very honored to have a QOV but, my goodness, how unworthy I feel. I had to take the time to thank everyone involved in process that brought this quilt to my home.


The quilt is absolutely beautiful from the gorgeous patriotic pattern to
the stars quilted on it. If I was privileged enough to receive a quilt I
know that this one was an appropriate choice. 


I have to explain how we choose the quilts we would present so you will understand what I mean by that. On the floor I worked the Quilts of Valor were a really big deal. We have a QOV hanging in a glass box on the wall (we rotate the displayed quilts so one does not yet stuck on the wall) with a note in it explaining the QOV organization and point it out when we have a distinguished visitor (Generals, actors, performers that visit, etc...) touring the floor and visiting patients. We also make sure when we present one to a patient right before we get ready to take them to board their medical flight back to the States that there are at least a couple of staff members present. 


We explain the QOV foundation, how it started with Catherine Roberts and we
tell them they can consider their quilt as not only a thank you for their
service but as we wrap it over them we tell them that is a "hug" from their
country to give them comfort on their flight until they have their family's
arms around them again. 


Yes, more often than not there are tears involved with the quilts. When these big guys get all embarrassed because there are tears involved we tell them it's ok because it's mandatory.


 I have NEVER seen anyone say "Oh thanks you can shove it in my bag." They are always touched, always grateful, always feel they are undeserving and always amazed that there are people back in the States that take the time to show support in this way. 


I'm getting off track from what I wanted to explain about the selection process. We usually would pick the quilts out the day
or night before the patients fly out and we would try to pick one that had
some little connection if possible to the patient. For example, we had a
patient from Ohio who was a big Cleveland Browns football fan and we had a
brown and orange quilt so we gave him that one. It would never fail that if
we couldn't find one that was "specific" to the patient and so we gave them
a red, white and blue patriotic one when we flipped back the corner and
said your quilt was made in, wherever, they would say....oh I was born
there or that's where my wife is from. If we have a military distinguished
visitor visit we will present them with a quilt when they come to the
floor. 


I was the escort for the tour when the new Commandant of the Marine
Corps came to visit and in the craziness trying to square away the floor
before he got there I realized we hadn't grabbed a quilt for him just as we
got the call that he was heading down to our ward. I asked a co-worker to
grab one of the red, white and blue quilts real quick. Would you believe
that when we opened it to present it to him the backing was a full size
Marine Corp emblem?  I swear those quilts "find" their person they are
supposed to go with.


So as I said before if I am privileged enough to have received a quilt the
one I have could not be more perfect. When I flipped back the corner I saw
that my quilt was made in Maine. I am originally from Quincy, Massachusetts
and my husband is from Salem, New Hampshire. What are the chances that a
quilt made in one New England state made it all the way across the ocean to
Germany to be given to people from two other New England states? Then I
opened the card Barbara Campbell included to find that she is a retired
nurse. See, it's always something. I probably grew up two streets away from
Robin and never knew it or some equally random connection :)


All joking aside please pass on my sincere thanks to both of these ladies
and to your organization. It is truly wonderful and the purpose of my big
long email was not just to say thank you but also to give  you a little
peek at what happens to your quilts over here on the other side of the
ocean. They are definitely presented with the love and appreciation with
which you make them. I thought it was important that you all knew they are
not given out as an after thought or passed as out one item among many in
the pink plastic bucket of "stuff" every patient that walks in the door
gets. Your quilts touch even the toughest Soldiers, Sailors, Marines &
Airmen. Several times after presenting a quilt I have received hugs
thanking me from Four-star Generals who had everyone on their toes and on
edge in anticipation of their visit.


On behalf the other recipients of your quilts and myself I would like to
pass those "hugs of thanks" onto all of you and especially Barbara and
Robin. Your quilt will be a life-long reminder to me of both my own and my
husband's time here at Landstuhl where we were privileged enough to care
for our country's wounded warriors. The motto of the Landstuhl Regional
Medical Center is "Selfless Service" and you all are a true example of that
when you spend so much time making these beautiful quilts and then sending
them off not knowing where they go.






Thank you once again for my quilt and for all you do for our country's
military members. As a Army spouse I can't tell you how comforting it is to
know people are thinking of and are so supportive of our family members who
are serving.
Sincerely,
Carrie


Submitted by Maine

6 comments:

  1. What a beautiful, informative, and inspiring letter. My faith tells me that this is the confirmation that there is the 'invisible hand' at work in this wonderful QOV program.
    Thanks to Carrie for taking the time to give us all a "peek" into one point of contact for our Quilts of Valor.
    I am going to imagine your son, you and your hubby all snuggled under your Quilt of Valor and be assured for all you have done for our warriors, you are surely deserving!

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  2. A lovely letter. And I was surprised to see the quilt is one of my mystery patterns.

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  3. Beautifully written and a wonderful insight into how special Quilts of Valor are to those who serve. Thank you so much for sharing this special letter.
    Judie

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  4. Whew! There are no words. I am bawling like a baby. What a dear, sweet woman. No doubt she has touched many lives in the course of her work. Thank you for sharing her touching words.

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  5. Diane Jaeger, retired MSgt USAF, UtahMarch 20, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    That is such an awesome letter. Thanks for Posting and sharing with all of us. I have been at Landstuhl Army Hospital, in Germany ('94) and can tell you first hand how woonderful that place is. Im glad she had a great experance working there and helping carry out our QOV mission over there too.

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