Monday, October 28, 2013

A Great Honor

Veteran Ashleigh Powell (R) admires her quilt given by the Ladies of Valor of Wake Forest ( from Left) Marian Wyma, Donna Pernell, and Martha Killian, at the Durham VA Medical Center. The Herald-Sun | Bernard Thomas

Jasper McNeill Jr. served in the Army during the Vietnam era, when he was tasked with bringing the bodies of friends back home.
It was a rough time, he says, that left him battling post-traumatic stress disorder well after leaving the military. He was homeless for more than two years in Durham, moving from shelter to shelter, until the Durham VA helped him find permanent housing.
Thursday afternoon, McNeill, 53, stood with a handmade quilt wrapped around his shoulders in the Durham VA Medical Center chapel. A group of volunteers, the Ladies of Valor of Wake Forest, created the blankets as part of the national Quilts of Valor Foundation, which recognizes veterans who have been touched by combat.
As the Ladies of Valor unfolded quilt after quilt and presented them to the small group of formerly homeless veterans in the pews, people gasped at their intricate piecing. There were pinwheel patterns, American flag fabrics and swirled stitches done by hand.
“This is just a great honor for me,” McNeill said, grasping his quilt after the ceremony. “It’s going right on my bed.”
Durham has become the pilot location for the Quilts of Valor expansion into serving formerly homeless veterans who’ve experienced war. The veterans are all part of HUD-VASH, the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing case management program, which helps veterans transition into permanent housing, find employment opportunities and get back on their feet.
 Read more at the Herald Sun....

Tiffany Bryant admires her quilt given by the Wake Forest Ladies of Valor at the Durham VA Medical Center.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013



U.S. Army Ranger Cpl. Josh Hargis is pictured saluting his commanding officer
after being presented a Purple Heart medal.

This photo says it all.
And it spoke to QOVF members and the world.

Brian Williams featured QOVF and this dedicated Army Ranger on Making A Difference
Watch the Video with Brian Williams on NBC NIGHTLY NEWS

From our Director, Susan Gordon
Our thanks to all of you who are honoring and comforting our combat service members and veterans by sewing Quilts of Valor.  Everyone can participate and make a difference.  We need your help:  sewing if you sew, quilting if you quilt, providing financial support to our quilters and our foundation.  
We are an all volunteer organization, and donations made payable to Quilts of Valor Foundation are tax deductible.


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, October 21, 2013

Why I Am A Quilting Rookie of the YEAR

Introducing Daryl Brandt Quilting Rookie
Daryl D. Brandt a disabled Marine Corps veteran started quilting in January. The 53-year-old male started quilting during his recovery from a knee replacement done at the Iowa City VA hospital. His mother, Dolores, or Dee, as most people call her, has been quilting for over 40 years. She had a few UFOs - unfinished objects laying around. Since recovering from any major surgery is a long and boring process Daryl decided to help her finish up some of her UFOs. By the time they finished 20 unfinished objects Daryl was ready to make his own quilt. Not just any quilt - but a quilt made out of his own military uniforms.

Daryl D. Brandt and HIS Quilt
I've been asking my mother to make my quilt for over 30 years, but we could never find the pattern for that quilt so I made my own pattern. I disassembled 2 camouflage tops and two sateen tops. I saved the pockets, collars, sleeves and even the leg ties so I could cut them up and sew them back together to make MY quilt. When I finished I had a beautiful quilt made from my military uniforms. Uniforms I had used for 25+ years doing tree trimming and tree removal. This way I hope to get another 25+ years of use out of them.
The Quilting Rookie of the Year Award...
I think these are pretty good reasons to become the rookie of the year.
Points for being quilting's rookie of the year.
1. I helped my mother finish over 30 unfinished objects this year.

2. I received a lap quilt at the VA hospital. I have finished and donated 2 twin size quilts back to the VA hospital.

3. I have 6 more quilt tops finished to donate as Quilts of Valor.

4. I helped sew pajama bottoms with my mother and the ladies auxiliary from the Oelwein Legion for our soldiers and veterans.

5. I also helped sew ditty bags for other veterans and soldiers.

6. I designed and made my own Quilts of Valor.

7. I designed my own quilt panels for my own Quilts of Valor.

8. I have incorporated one of those quilt panels into a Quilt in Honor.

9. At the Quilts in Honor debut show in Des Moines Iowa I showed my military uniform quilt in the Quilts in Honor booth. Watch the YouTube Video

10.I would have showed my other two quilt that I designed but they were not quilted yet.

11. I did show them to the people at the show from Operation Homefront, AmericanQuilters Society, Quilts of Valor and Quilts in Honor. I decided from their input to donate one of my own Quilts, so they could place it with 50 of the top quilters quilts. These quilts will tour around the country in 18 shows to raise money for Operation Homefront.

 Sincerely yours
Daryl D Brandt
Rookie quilter of the year.
P. S. There may not be a rookie of the year now. But somebody has to be the 1st.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Day To Remember

On September 8, 2013, at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in White River, Vermont, my Dad (Conception Conti) was awarded a Quilt of Valor.   

I want to relay to your team how much this meant to him, and his family. Dad is 92 years old and still relives his days in the War;” memories that can’t be erased from his mind (both the good and the bad).   

This is an incredibly thoughtful program and the ceremony at the VA Facility was very well done. The Rolling Thunder folks met us at the driveway, parked our car and provided escorts and wheel chairs for both of my parents.  WOW, I was stressing about how I was going to get both of them from the parking lot into the facility.  Once inside the team waited on them like royalty; which was especially great for my socially needy father.  And the quilts were all very beautiful; clearly works of love. My parents have their quilt displayed proudly in the living room and not one visitor is spared the viewing and story of this exceptional event  :-)

Although we have no idea who made it, they will always remain special in the memory of our family.  This quilt will be passed down to the younger generation.

Please express our appreciation to the QOV team for their loving work.   

Monday, October 14, 2013

Take A Moment - Alaska Veterans and Pioneer Home

I just wanted to take a moment and give thanks to all those that helped provide quilts to both veteran staff and residents here at the Alaska Veterans and Pioneer Home. As a recipient of a quilt myself, I can personally share my gratitude for the honor and recognition given.

Thank you for the work each of you do in supporting and recognizing our nations veterans. All the hard work and effort is greatly appreciated.

David Williams, CDM, CFPP
Food Service Foreman
Ak Veterans & Pioneer's Home

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Captured His Heart

Even Hollywood can't compete with this. 
WWII, Marine Combat Veteran - In Iwo Jima, on the way up the mountain as the flag was being raised, he paused just long enough to see it cast its shadow across the island. An island that would take 36 days to capture, at the cost of 26,000 casualties, 6,800 deaths. 
Bronze Star recipient - wounded, he was treated at Bethesda, before returning to combat. He met a Navy Nurse and the sparks flew. When he was asked by 13 News what were his most memorable moments during the war, he talked about her writing him everyday, and they weren't even married...but he knew she had 'hurt' him...'captured his heart.' 
They married after the war in February 1946. He will turn 93 next week and she 92...she said she married a much older man. 
I am blessed to be the presenter of these Awards, but the comfort and healing comes from the hearts, and through the hands, of QOV Quilters. And I am deeply indebted to you all for this privilege.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I am the daughter of Robert Davis, and the niece of Buzz Davis, both received a quilt of valor quilt on August 27th.

My dad asked me if I could somehow relay their thanks and their gratitude to you all and your team…   My dad doesn't type very much and has a hard time writing, and my uncle Buzz doesn't know who to write to… So I am writing a thank you letter for both of them. Neither one expected what they received. They were both very shocked and very pleased with their quilts. They both commented about all the hours and hours that they know went into the making of those quilts. After you left my dad just sat there and kept rubbing the quilt, you could tell that he was really thinking about what that quilt represented. My uncle Buzz was still in shock about receiving his quilt. He figured it would have been for my husband who retired from the Army after 20 years.

I myself, think it is awesome what you all do, and what your quilts represent. You can tell the dedication in what you do and all of the love that goes into each one of those quilts. I was honored to have been able to be there and see both my dad and my uncle get recognized for their service and sacrifice they made so many years ago for our country.

I know that both my dad and my uncle want to thank everyone who has a role in producing these quilts, for their time, for their talent and for their dedication. Please let them know that we realize the impact that their quilts have on the receivers of their quilts firsthand!!! 

Thank you and may God bless each and every one of you!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association's Third Annual Poker Run

It was another great day...they just keep coming. Elaine and I set up a QOV display with a couple of machines and had attendees stop and sew some blocks. Yes even I sewed a few...I'll stick with my 'power tool' thank you very much.

This was all part of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association's Third Annual Poker Run. The recipient of this year’s fundraising was Cedar Grove...the apartment complex for disabled veterans.

We had some experienced sewers stop by and one brand new convert. This young lady just made Elaine's day. As Elaine was packing up to leave the little girl came running over to give her a hug and thank her for helping her sew...she had never sewn before. Next generation of QOVF is going to be in good hands.

We were quite busy, explaining the Request Process, the QOVF Story, what goes into a QOV and turning down numerous requests to buy a quilt. We had one woman from Germany that almost broke into tears because she couldn't buy one to take home for her military son in Germany. Yes I was the luckiest of all.

This year’s event was in remembrance of the Bombing of Beirut in 1983 that killed 241 Americans and over 200 United States Marines. In attendance were four Marine survivors of that bombing, Marines that survived the attack and were left with the task of gathering, identifying and putting their friends and comrades remains in body bags. One, a Vietnam Combat Veteran already, was only thirty minutes from a total different circumstance. He grudgingly got up; quickly showered and headed off to the building next door...he had the Sunday Command Duty. His bunk was impaled with metal and building debris...he would have surely been killed...where he had been asleep 35 minutes before the bomb was detonated. Three of the four would go on to see other combat duties in places like Kuwait and Iraq. The fourth...a very lucky Major would retire several years later...He has told me several times he never begrudged any duty again.

Because of time constraints at the event, everything was behind schedule, like who knew nearly four hundred riders would show up, we didn't have the opportunity to unfold the quilts for review...but I know four more very happy veterans who were still thanking me as we were leaving. Did I have a good day or what???

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