Friday, November 30, 2012

A Thank you


Karen,

Thank you and everyone involved in this organization. I returned from Afghanistan as part of the NTM-A group in MN and received one of the wonderful quilts. I am always amazed and humbled by the support given to the soldiers and your group is especially thoughtful. The quilt is already being well used and will continue to grace my living room. Thank you again for all that you do for soldiers and God Bless.

MAJ Kip F.
MN Army National Guard

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pine Hurst Quilters

I invite you to grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and sit back.... and enjoy the pictures!!


Hi everyone, I am going to give you a link to the Current News so that you can see all the photos that were taken for the Veterans Day Presentation. All reports from the audience and from the veterans said that the best part was the Pinehurst Quilters doing the presentation of Quilts of Valor.


These are some of my favorite photos from this presentation - and I tell you- I needed a tissue - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the smiles!!










Monday, November 26, 2012

What's happening In Washington


We have been doing a few individual presentations, mostly to soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McChord(JBLM). I met the head of Madigan hospital last week and he told me that 8000 soldiers are returning in the next three months! 

I made and presented a quilt to the elementary school on JBLM. All these children have one or more parents who are or will be deployed to Afghanistan (over 600 kids). Since our war has been going on for so long, that is all these kids have known their entire lives. I got to find out what a Stryker is -- it's an armored vehicle that is kind of like a tank, but uses wheels instead of tracks. Lots of hi-tech video cameras inside so they can stay inside and look around. They had two of them on display at the school so the kids can see what mom/dad does where they work.

A couple weeks before I went with a couple QOV workers to Whidbey Island where we presented 10 quilts to returning Individual Augmentees(IAs). It was a very casual presentation and someone posted pictures on-line. I had sent the link to the staff list, but it seems I have "lost" all my former QOV email. Need to research if I can retrieve it.

One of my QOV workers is a retired, male sailor. A couple months ago his wife called me and said "Fred wants to make a QOV for our grandson". With help from is wife, Fred made and presented that quilt to his grandson and now Fred has made 4 more quilts. His goal is to make quilts for Vietnam Vets. He will be presenting his quilts to a Veterans home near Port Orchard next week. I'm hoping that Fred will coax some of his male friends into making some QOVs -- it would be so cool to have a men's group!!

Next Monday I will be meeting with the head of the local VA hospital system and presenting a quilt to the VA hospital with the promise that we will be giving out more of them at a later date.  

Next Thursday we will be presenting 55 quilts to local IAs from Bremerton, Keyport and Bangor. Thanks to everyone who mailed a quilt or two. It really helps when we need a large number of them.

Then I think we are clear until mid December when I go to Yakima. They are asking for 12.

--
Carol Olsen
Region 2 WA
Quilts of Valor Foundation

Friday, November 23, 2012

From the West Coast to the East Coast


This summer, my wife (Kathy) and I were privileged to receive a request from the Quilts of Valor Foundation to present a quilt made by someone for their loved one.

The quilter lives on the West Coast and her loved one lives on the East Coast about an hour from where we live. The request was to present a quilt she made to Honor this patriot for his service and sacrifice to this Great Nation.

We arrived early and rang the doorbell.

We knew Marty's overall condition (blinded and recovering from other wounds), but of course did not know the rest of the story.

Greeted by a handsome man, probably in his late 30's, perhaps waiting for his fortieth birthday, the Sergeant's broad smile warmly greeted us as he beckoned us into his home.

Marty has been blind for a little over one year now and still has trepidation's about getting around his house.

He had only seen his house once, from the outside, before he shipped off to Afghanistan.

Sometimes in life you meet someone and in moments you feel like old friends. So it is with Marty. His wife was still at the store and expected home soon, so we chatted a bit. Marty said he almost forgot about our presentation of the quilt.

While Marty chatted away, he had proudly poured Sangria he had made when the conversation stopped - we heard a whimper off to the side.

His new baby girl was stirring in her bassinet! We also knew that Marty's wife had given birth just some 5 weeks before our arrival, yet we had not given it a thought.


When a warrior is severely wounded in battle and placed on a stretcher to be airlifted to a field hospital, frequently, the warrior's clothes are cut away to facilitate immediate, life-saving, care.

Once stabilized, a Quilt of Valor was placed upon Sergeant Marty to Honor and Comfort him at life's most precious moment - a pivotal point of his survival for life. This was YOUR Quilt of Valor. From battlefield, to field hospital, through an airlift to Germany for multiple surgeries and touch down on American soil at Joint Base Andrews, to his final homecoming - your Quilt of Valor traveled with him.

Today, stateside, Marty is without vision. He will never see his newborn daughter.
He can touch his daughter's face, smell her powdered newborn body and caress her while he rocks her to 
sleep.

Your comforting Quilt of Valor wraps them both in the warmth and love of this Nation, sewn by you, while it nurtures their precious time together and forever forges a bond of love we can only imagine.
When Marty senses his daughter might be chilled, he gently folds your quilt and lays it upon the new person in life he cherishes.

Marty served a long and Honorable career in the Special Forces. After he retired, he sought work in private industry to go back and aid the people of Afghanistan. This is where he was stricken in the explosion of an IED - again, trying to help other people.

He speaks well of the people and culture he served trying to uplift those in Afghanistan. Marty holds no grudges and has a bright outlook on life. He is, perhaps, stronger today, than before his injuries. You too can note his pride in his assured stance. Not apprehensive, not doubting, ever vigilant for his family and country.

Today, without sight, Marty will feel the texture of the many pieces sewn together in your quilt – those pieces will represent to him the diversity of this Nation, coming together as one. He will feel the threads that stitch the Quilt of Valor together – these are the threads that bind this Nation of many people into one great Nation - and he will forever know in his heart - that you, on one beautiful day in Montana, made a Quilt of Valor, for someone you may never know, for their service and sacrifice for all of US.

Thank you for your patriotism, your kindness and your continuing efforts making Quilts of Valor to Honor and Comfort our service members and Veterans touched by war.

Please know that your continuing efforts will continue to touch the lives of those who serve to protect and defend us all - everyday.

Warmest regards,
Jeff Thorne

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lincoln NE QOV'ers

The Lincoln (NE) area QOV-ers are hosted twice a year by the local Bernina dealer for a day of sewing, show and tell, chatting and snacking. Bernina's classroom space can accommodate around 18 to 20, and the event generally fills to capacity. When the sew-ins first began, we distributed patterns and even a few kits but now most quilters bring their own projects.

Julia S, the NE QOV coordinator does most of the long-arming for QOV in this area and we are always treated to a quilt show of her latest creations. She is pictured with a Just One Star quilt (made from Moda Just One Star blocks we received earlier this year)

Enjoy the other pictures of the October sew-in. Note the use of our "design floor!" 











Happy Quilting,
Submitted by:
--
Sara Kenny
Central Midwest Region Coordinator (NE, IA, KS)
Quilts of Valor Foundation

Friday, November 16, 2012

Surprise!!

This past week, Ralph was surprise with a QOV while at his morning breakfast with his buddies. Ralph is a WWII veteran. Following is the Thank You card I received from him to share with all of you.

"Words cannot express my gratitude for your time, talent and generosity. It was greatly appreciated. I was so overcome, tears came to my eyes and trying to hold back my emotions of gratitude when you presented me this wonderful gift. Thank you so much for the joy you have given me. God Bless you and God Bless America. Sincerely, Ralph"


The quilt came by request. At the table, three other Veterans who will soon receive their QOV - another WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War......


--
Sharon Ledbetter
Idaho Regional CoordinatorQuilts of Valor Foundation

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Veterans Day Tribute

A Veteran's Day program was held at Jennings Elementary School in Colfax, WA. 

The Air Force presented the Color Guard as part of the program. Local boy scouts were a part of the program.

Tami Drader, local LA shared the Quilts of Valor program with those present. 


She then surprised WWII Vet, Pastor Floyd Overstreet with a QOV for his service. He served on a minesweeper during WWII. His ship was getting ready to get underway, when he was told he was on the wrong ship. He had been transferred to the Admiral's ship. 

 He got off the minesweeper and sailed out on the Admiral's ship. The minesweeper he had been on was blown up. All his buddies died that day. He feels God had a plan for his life as he has lived a life of serving others.






Submitted by Tami D of Colfax Washtington  

Monday, November 12, 2012

“This means more to me than the medals and Honors I have received”


Veteran’s Day weekend – Germantown, MD

On a clear, bright, Sunday morning, a Patriot from WW II was honored with his Quilt of Valor.

For his service and sacrifice in the Army’s CCR Rifle Company, attached to the 25th Tank Battalion, Claudel St. J. weathered the price of war and safely returned home to New Orleans.

Decades later, he and his beloved wife were uprooted, as a result of Katrina and became refugees in Germantown, MD.

The storm wiped out his home, all his possessions, the mementos of war, his commendations and Medals he received - to include his Bronze Star. These were recently replaced, as requested, through the office of Veteran’s Affairs.

In recent years, after a nearly a decade of longing to be home again, he lost his wife to a prolonged illness.
Upon receiving his Quilt of Valor, Claudel spoke the words we hear again and again - these words fuel the passion in our hearts – “This Quilt of Valor means more to me than all the medals and Honors I have received”.

Claudel lovingly, yet firmly, clutched tight to his chest his Quilt of Valor.

He turned and walked into a sunny morning filled with new hope, the recognition of his community, and this Nation for his service and sacrifice for all of US.

Respectfully submitted,
Jeff Thorne

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thank you

I received a thank you letter today that I would like to share. It
was from Col. F.C. L who was stationed with the 624th Forward surgical team at FOB Shank in Eastern Afghanistan.

Some words I can't make out, and yet I wanted all of you to share in his thank you to me.

I write and thank you for your wonderful quilt. As back ground I am
an Army Surgeon assigned to FOB Shank in Eastern Afghanistan. I arrived on 22 July, 2012. Our unit provides emergency surgical care
to the members of the 173rd Airborn Brigade.

FOB Shank is in Eastern Afghanistan and surrounding area. It is very violent and dangerous. Our unit is the busiest surgical team in Afghanistan.

On 7 August 2012, a large truck loaded with between 3-5000/s of explosives blew up outside the walls about 20 yards from our field hospital. The hospital and one ___ were destroyed and about 1/2 of
the hospital personnel  were injured.

Once the immediate casualties were treated and evacuated, I slept in the destroyed hospital and used your beautiful quilt of warmth. I was very blessed that day to be uninjured and have continued to use your
quilt of luck. Have been here for 3 very long months and ___ a lot.
We have done great work and I am again blessed to have had the experience.

I have sent your quilt to my home and am busy at Walter Reed to
continue to care for our injured soldiers.

As a soldier and a surgeon I thank you for your special gift that
provided much comfort during trying times.

Warm Regards.
________________

As most of us know we receive.few thank you letters. Especially if
we send our quilts to injured who may not be able to respond when they
receive the quilts. It's not why we send them. Thankfully the
surgeon who received this one wasn't injured, but I'm glad it brought
comfort after seeing so many of his unit injured and hospital
destroyed. I'm glad it was there at that moment. So I hope you'll
take this letter and enjoy it's thanks for all the time's we don't
receive that thank you. For me it's back to my sewing machine.
Sharon D
Pembroke, Ky.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Machine Quilting with Templates

Remember the awesome Mystery Quilt that was run on Craftsy?  

http://blog.craftsy.com/2012/08/craftsy-quilt-of-valor-mystery-quilt-a-long/

Now the segment about Quilting this quilt is up on Craftsy.... 

http://www.craftsy.com/class/machine-quilting-with-templates-creating-design-perfection/139

Hope you enjoy it!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

990 QOVs and Counting........Thanks to the Keepsake Quilters in Cedar Falls, IA

Keepsake Quilters, an 80-member guild in Cedar Falls, IA has awarded 990 QOVs since January 2005 when the Guild first decided to take on this project. In addition, the Guild supplies around 100 quilts each year to the local hospice center, and they provide quilts to support the local Honor Flights as well. How does a small guild get so much accomplished??? They work hard, and they never give up.

Once a year or so, the Guild devotes a meeting to its "Quilts to Share" program. This year, the Guild invited representatives from Hospice, Honor Flights and the Quilts of Valor Foundation to speak to the Guild members about the impact the Guild's quilts make on their clients and recipients. In addition, we were invited to join the Quilts of Share workshop during the day where members gather to make quilt tops, bind quilts and sandwich tops, batting and backing. More than a dozen quilt tops were completed during the day, and we showed our newly-constructed tops at the meeting that night. Naturally, food is involved with all these activities, and I must say, the Iowa ladies fed us very well!

We brought two dozen Nebraska 4-H QOVs to share and invited Guild members to reach out to local 4-H groups to encourage participation in the QOV program at the 4-H level. Members were invited to serve as mentors for local 4-H youth QOV projects.

Browse the attached pictures to enjoy a few 4-H quilts, the set up for the Quilts to Share workshop and candids from the meeting itself.

Congratulations to the Cedar Falls Quilters for their support of wounded warriors!

Submitted by:

-- 
Sara Kenny




Central Midwest Region 5 Coordinator (NE, IA, KS