Friday, July 26, 2013

Red, White and Blue

For several years Texas' Nacogdoches Quilters Guild has its July meeting with an all out  Red, White and Blue patriotic program.  This year, members were challenged to make and bring many Quilts of Valor 8 1/2" Anniversary blocks as well as the standard 12 1/2" blocks.  The entire room was decorated with a total of 397 QOV blocks, a completed Lone Star Quilt and a quilt top.  Our QOV chair, Jo Ann Hebert led us in games with a patriotic theme and prizes were awarded.

The 12 1/2" blocks will be sent to the Chatty Quilters in Malakoff, TX (Nancy Kemp, QOV chair). They assemble the blocks, quilt them and ready them for shipping.  One hundred ninety-four 8 1/2" Anniversary blocks were mailed to Karen Demaree.

The Nacogdoches Quilters Guild is proud to be an active supporter of this very worthy endeavor and we will continue as long as the military needs us.

Nacogdoches Quilt Guild - WEBSITE

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tears, Smiles, Thanks...

I returned home last night with nearly 200 anniversary blocks (almost 70 were completed in the last 2 days at the conference), just under $500 in money received from the silent auction proceeds, new friends, new people interested in making QOVs, and at least 2 ladies in Cheyenne who are serious about putting together a group in Cheyenne! One of these ladies has had nearly all the men in her family in one branch of service or another and, therefore, has some invaluable contacts that I don't have any idea of how to get for myself.

I am very amazed at how many people have never heard of Quilts of Valor. Well, I informed all that came into my "Quilts of Valor Room"!

Now, for the most amazing part. I had a name of a Vietnam Vet that had been given me who lived in Casper, the city where the event was. He came to the show with his wife, chose a quilt (I had brought 3 there), and allowed me to present it to him. Tears, smiles, thanks, and heartfelt gratitude filled the room.

Then, I had another retired veteran, a woman, who was in country - in many countries in many "conflicts" over the past 20 years. She served forward and at the front line in positions allowed for women at the time. I had an impromptu presentation on the spot. She was so taken aback, she, her friends, and I all stood there with tears running!

The next day I was visiting with my brother-in-law, whom I have known for 32 years. I knew he was in the military during the Vietnam years but he never would talk about it and just blew it off. Well, this day he started talking and I found out that he was a corpsman in the Navy assigned to a Marine unit. He took care of amputees, head wounds, and everything else. I presented my tough, laugh-and-make-light-of-everything brother-in-law with the last QOV I had taken. He was wearing sun glasses and said, "I'm sure glad I'm wearing these sunglasses or you'd see my tears." It was 90 degrees out and he was wrapped in HIS quilt and only removed it to get into the car to drive away.
Until next time,


In service to those who stand in the face of war,
Stephanie Logan
Region 3 Coordinator for Wyoming
Quilts of Valor Foundation

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I WIll Always Carry the Memory

 My family had a great time in Georgia. We went to see our son Shayne graduate from basic and AIT training. He was awarded the Patton Award. This is how the Award reads:

FOR: Military achievement while being selected as the George S. Patton Leadership Award Winner for OSUT Class 13-005. private First Class McSwine's leadership Ability, Professionalism, and Attention to Detail set himself above his peers and became a Model for his Peers to Emulate. His Performance reflects Great Credit upon Himself, Delta Company, the 1st Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, and The United States ARMY.

Needless to say we are very proud of him. 

The news for the QOVF is that while at the graduation Dinner, I was honored to present QOV’s to the Cadre- those in charge of the recruits. It was a very moving experience. I involved the Platoon Guides to help me as well as my son. The recruits as they were called, held up the quilts on a stage while the recipients stood in front. I read information about each recipient then had the recruits fold the QOV and place over each one's shoulders. They also handed them their case and journal. My son handed his XO his case and journal. Shayne said he saw tears in his eyes as he shook his hand. I did a speech about our organization and how these leaders who trained our sons have stood in harms way. So who better to prepare them for what may lay ahead for each recruit. This was well received by everyone there. 

When I was finished presenting the QOV’S, I started to go to my seat when the Company Commander stopped me. He held up a Company Coin and said for my part in presenting these brave soldiers with these Distinguishable Quilts of Valor, he presented me with this coin. Coins in the Military are very BIG. They are not handed out lightly. So I wish I could share it with all who made the QOV’s I presented,  I can't. But for me I will always carry the memory of all these brave men and how lucky I was to present them their Quilts of valor. Then I returned to my seat. the family sitting at our table included a Vietnam Veteran. His daughter asked me when he father left the table how her Dad could get a QOV. I asked her for info about him. When he returned to the table, I stood and presented him with a QOV.  (Thanks Susan for recommending I take extra.) The Veteran was moved to tears as was all his family.

What a Great Night! Thank You to all who sent me QOV's to present to them. 

Marie McSwine