Friday, December 26, 2014

Govenor Heineman Receives Quilt of Valor Surprise

From Lincoln, Nebraska
QOV and 4-H volunteers presented a Quilt of Valor to outgoing Nebraska governor, Dave Heineman on December 23, 2014.  The First Lady, Sally Ganem, wanted the presentation to be a surprise, and it was! 

Governor Heineman is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and served five years in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Captain.  As Nebraska National Guard operates under the Governor through the State Adjutants General, the Governor also has a close relationship with the Nebraska National Guard.  Our Guard units have deployed countless times during the Governor’s ten-year term in office, and the Governor has been truly touched by war through their service and sacrifice as well as his own personal Army service. 
The Governor’s QOV was made by Vanessa T, a 16-year old 4-H member from rural north-central Nebraska.  Her quilt, Patriotic Pineapples won purple ribbons at both the County and State Fair, and is her 4th QOV.  Vanessa and her parents traveled nearly 300 miles to Lincoln to present the QOV to the Governor.  Vanessa met the Governor when she was seven years old, having won a state sponsored art award. She shared the picture she had of the two of them.
The Governor was very honored to be awarded a Quilt of Valor, particularly one made by a Nebraska 4-H Member.  After the presentation, the First Lady took the QOV “delegation” on a tour of the Governor’s Mansion.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

QOV's Wrap VETS With Honor

From Lincoln, Nebraska

The Legion Unit 355 and VFW Post 3606 held their first QOV presentation on November 2nd at a spaghetti supper.  Four very deserving vets were honored with a wrap and hug and, of course, a QOV made with love. Julia S. conducted the presentation and also provided the attendees with information about the QOV Foundation. Cheri and Charlene are hoping to start a QOV group with the Legion and VFW Post members.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Couple Receives QOVs

From Lincoln, Nebraska

On Saturday, October 4th, a very special QOV presentation was awarded to two veterans who also happen to be married. The QOV's were made by Julia S., who also did the presentation, and by Judy L. More importantly, were the recipients Ken and Erin C. 

Ken joined the Army right out of his school, served 3 combat tours in Iraq, was wounded on his second tour and received the Purple Heart as well as the Combat Action Badge while overseas. 

Erin, his wife, joined the Army in 1996 and was deployed in 2003 for Operation Enduring Freedom.They were the first married couple in the state of Nebraska to be deployed together in the war, leaving behind their two sons in the care of Ken's mom. Erin left the Army after 8 years due to Optempo, with both of them serving and one needing to be home with their two boys. 

The boys received patriotic quilts, made by Vicky S., who heads up the Cuddle Quilts for our Lincoln Guild. They were so proud of their parents, their service to country, and very appreciative of their own quilts.

Sadly, Ken's mom passed away the day before the presentation. However, Ken assured Julia, who was offering her condolences, that his mom was surely present and smiling down on them.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Keep Up The Great Job

A Letter to the Director...

Good Morning Susan

I so enjoyed reading your new Mission and Core Values.  Your distribution intent touched my heart and was the very reason that I personally got invoked with QOV.  My step-son, Major Ryan Burke has been deployed 5 times to the mid-East.  He just returned from Kuwait in July.  During this deployment I contacted him to see if he knew of a service man or woman that he personally knew that would like one of my quilts.  I might add, I was planning on donating one quilt.  His response to me was that any one of his 150 troops deployed with his would love a quilt.  I went a few steps beyond my initial intent by distributing 150 quilts at the troops Welcome Home ceremony.  It was indeed a heart warming moment when I got to personally witness the gratitude and surprise these well deserving service men and women expressed as they chose which quilt they took home with them.  I have personally witnessed how the war has affected my step son and his family in way too many ways. Every single one of those serving today will be emotionally if not also physically affected.  My token of appreciation with this act of love thru my stitches could never repay my appreciation for all they have given to each of us.

I would also like to add that your Colorado Coordinator, Alycia Carmin was unbelievably awesome.  She knew the hoops to jump thru and made the entire distribution totally possible.  She is soooooooooooooo dedicated and committed to the cause by driving to FT Carson, 2 hours from her home, 2-4 times a week.  Alycia deserves a volunteer service award if QOV awards them.  Without her, my personal mission would never have been accomplished.

I'm so proud to be a part of such a magnificent and focused group.  I plan to continue making quilts for the cause as well as donating my service to long-arm quilt donated quilts.  Keep up and great job.  I appreciate all your hard work.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Real Hero

A letter....
Dear Roxanne,

I received my quilt today and I would like to thank you for it. I must admit, after reading the letter, it brought a tear to my eye because of the message it sends. Very few "average Americans" can grasp how war affects a family. They may read about it or see it on TV, but that does not come close to showing the daily struggles or its actual toll, both mentally and physically it has on a service member and their family. 
In my case, I was part of 8-12 man team that conducted "special or highly dangerous" missions. Of all 12, I am one of three that are still alive today. Being the only medic on the team, each of those men died in my arms. I see their faces every night my head hits the pillow and my eyes close. I have spent the last four years begging for forgiveness, both from their families and god. I have been stabbed, almost beat to death because they tried to capture me, shot twice, and in a large explosion that left me with a TBI. 
After four years away from the service, I am still fighting the VA for proper compensation of benefits. I have had 13 surgeries so far, with at least two more  to go. I have been convinced that the American people just does not want to know the truth, because if they did, there would be more voices heard by or elected officials on fixing the problems with the system, protecting our benefits, and ensuring our benefits in a timely manner. 
I DO NOT consider myself a hero. The real hero's come home with a flag draped coffin because they made the ultimate sacrifice. The other hero's I speak of are the families because they are left with picking up the pieces once we come home. I see that I have just rambled on and on here in this email, and for that I do apologize. 
Thank you again for the quilt and for the moral support it represents.



Thursday, September 4, 2014

QOV For A Tank Commander

Charles Shepard, 92, who served in Italy as a tank commander in WWII and then in Korea before leaving the US Army, was recently awarded his QOV. 

Mr. Shepard, a West Virginia resident, was awarded his quilt by QOVF representative Gale Betterly of Ridgefield, OH (on the right).  His daughter, Sharon Cole, nominated him for the honor.   Fay Gandee, maker of the quilt is standing next to Mr. Shepard.  QOVF is honored and privileged to have made his day special. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Special Morning - QOV Award

Val Heim of Superior, NE repeated the phrase "this is a very special morning" upon receiving his Quilt of Valor.  University of Nebraska Extension Educators Phyllis Schoenholz and Jaci Milius along with Office Manager Jean Stichka awarded the quilt to the dignified 93 year World War II veteran.  The request for the quilt came from southwest Kansas to the National Quilts of Valor Foundation.

Also present for the award ceremony were Gene Frerichs, adjutant and Steve Meyer past commander of the Superior American Legion Post 103 where Val is a long time member.  Heim was very modest in accepting the quilt and stated "it took all of us, so many others gave up so much more."

The conversation between the American Legion friends highlighted that Val is the oldest living professional baseball player in the U.S.A.  Val's career with the Chicago White Sox was cut short when WWII broke out and he joined the Navy.  Heim stated that baseball was the national sport at that time and military service teams had many major league players on their teams ­ which provided needed entertainment for troops of all branches of the service.

Monday, August 11, 2014

These guys are our heroes!

Hey- we did it!  
Had the most wonderful experience awarding 5 (1 in memorium) QOV's on Saturday at our annual guild quilt show to some terrific WWII and Korea veterans from our local Senior home here in our valley. We had planned on 5 presentations, but sadly one gentleman passed away the night before the presentation and another one was ill so I only had 3 actually make it to the event- but what special men those 3 were! The one in the black cowboy hat is 97 years old- and walked the 6 blocks to the event!! What a guy!! Everyone cried, including many of the general visitors who just happened to have stopped by as they were going thru our  quilt show! I was able to give the QOV that had been made for the veteran that passed away, to his grandson, who is on active duty but happened to be home on leave. Small miracles do happen. What a day- one I do not think they or anyone present will ever forget. 
These guys are our heroes!

And as a little side note, I had a QOVF "booth" at the quilt show and got great response from the local community with many promises for future support- couldn't ask for anything better!


Kathy Coontz,  Montana SW State Coordinator

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

At The County Fair

From Lincoln, Nebraska
Monday night the 4H students of York held their Style Revue and Bed Turning. In addition to their clothing accomplishments, these young seamstresses completed 24 Quilts of Valor, that will be displayed at the country fair before being sent off to deserving veterans. 
This photo shows an inter generational Quilt of Valor, made by family members, as well as these two young girls. It was quilted by a grandmother's cousin. Joan is also a member of our Lincoln QOV group. 
Finally, our own long-armer, Julia, quilted seven of these 4H Quilts of Valor. Not only are these 4-H students developing life long skills, but also devoting their time to honor our vets. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Moment of Honor

Meet Les Page, our own QOV Volunteer Coordinator and his wife, Elaine, who is the Regional Coordinator for Virginia.  Les and Elaine are just two of many who volunteer for QOV, giving their heart and soul to this great organization. 

 Thank you to Les and Elaine for all you do for QOVF, and thank you to Michelle, a QOV recipient, it was our honor.



Elaine and Les received the following email from a thankful recipient of a QOV.  

Dear Elaine and Les,

As a 26-year military veteran, I thought I had maxed out my moments of honor. I worked for/with great leaders. I served side-by-side with talented, courageous Airmen. I led units and members to get the mission done. I trained with and briefed extraordinary, brave pilots. I had duty in just about each state, numerous countries, remote military sites and even Iraq. I was honored. 

After retirement I knew that I wanted to be able to write. I am now an intern with WHRO Public Media in Norfolk, VA. We came across what QOV does for veterans in Virginia and immediately thought it would be a great story to get out to the community. I was assigned to interview Elaine and Les Page, QOV Virginia Coordinators. What a wonderful couple! When interviewing them, such sincere patriotism, passion and just LOVE came across as they explained why they became involved in QOV. They explained in detail how each piece of fabric and each stitch are caringly assembled to form these endearing quilts to cover worthy service members and veterans. I was honored.

I was invited to one of their sew days to actually see the process in action. Elaine and Les with about 10 sewers gave me an inside peak into making these quilts. Each lady, and even a few gentlemen, eagerly told me how they became involved, what they contribute to QOV, and most of all their connection with the military. Supporting our veterans and thanking them for all they do and have done was no doubt the overall message each imparted. I was honored.

QOV not only creates these quilts, they also present them in a short but touching ceremony. As I finished up my notes with one of the sewers, Les got everyone’s attention in the room. He began by giving a short history of what QOV is all about. Then to my surprise he called me up to stand beside him and Elaine. He went on to read this beautiful QOV preamble. He then said, ‘Michelle, we are proud to present this quilt to you. Welcome home.’ I was surprised and overwhelmed to say the least. All my feelings of being proud to serve flooded over me. As they wrapped the quilt around me and hugged me as if I were one of their own family members, I knew they cared. I was honored!

Thank you Elaine and Les and all the QOV members for my moment of honor!


Monday, July 14, 2014

This Is My Quilt of Valor

This is my Quilt of Valor. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My Quilt is my gift. It represents my service life. I will appreciate it, as it was made in appreciation of me. My Quilt, without being made with love and support, would be meaningless. Without love and support, my service is meaningless. I must keep my Quilt always. I must respect those who show respect to me. I must remember my time of service along with those who remembered me. I will... My Quilt and I know that what counts in serving our country is not the places we've gone, the things we've done, or the battles we've fought. We know standing for those in need makes it count. For them, we will stand... My Quilt of Valor is proud, as am I, because it reflects kindness found in American life. Thus, I will love it as a brother. I will love its wearing, its tearing, its patterns, its threads, its comfort, its true meaning, and its creators. I will keep my Quilt dear and close, even as I am held dear and close. We will become part of each other. We will... Before God, I thank my supporters. My Quilt and the military are symbols of the services dedicated to our country. We are the pride of the people who made us. We will hold the memories of our military service life. So be it, until we lay to rest and there is no enemy, but peace!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Young 91

I had a delightful time this afternoon in Cody, Wyoming where I presented a QOV to a young man of 91 who served this country during WWII. He is home-bound due to failing health, has difficulty hearing, but knew why I was there and proudly received his quilt.
Two days ago I received the request via QOVF website from his daughter. I called her last night, made plans to make the award today as I had a doctor's appointment already scheduled in this community which is 2 hours from my home -- thus making timing of this request perfect to fit the award into my schedule! 

He was at home with his wife and one of his daughters present for this important event in their long lives. According to his wife, he has not be able to go on a Wyoming Honor Flight due to his health, nor has he been able (nor offered) any such honor as he has in receiving this quilt. He told me stories about joining the Coast Guard thinking he would be guarding the US coast. Instead he was shipped out of Seattle to Guadal Canal and Australia (among other areas) where he hauled, via tug boats, armaments and supplies to soldiers in place there. On one such trip through to Guadal Canal he experienced 3 bullets go whizzing past his ear, one after another, "but they didn't hit me," George exclaimed. He also was among those who picked up our soldiers' bodies from the Batan Death march. 

This family is so proud of their husband/father that they requested the local newspaper to come take photos and report on the quilt presentation. They also wanted Quilts of Valor to get some publicity! Bless their hearts!

I really enjoyed the hour or so I spent with this family. And it was even more special because it is so close to the 4th of July!

Have a wonderful Independence Day!

Stephanie Logan
Wyoming Coordinator

Monday, June 30, 2014

A WWII Nurse

We received the following letter from the daughter of a WWII nurse, she is now in her 90s.

Just spoke with Mother.  Indeed the neighbors had called my sister in regard to a box on Mother's porch.  My sister opened the box for Mother and described visually how beautiful the QOV was. In speaking with Mother she was holding the quilt and could not put into words what it all means to her  - for the honor and recognition of her service, the time, expense and effort in making the quilt and sending it across the country -all by grateful Americans she has never met. 

She commented on the wonderful quality of the quilt and how soft it was.  Mother was quite a seamstress during her life and made all our school clothes until we were in high school. She knows quality, even if she can't see it!

I am speechless and can find no words to express what a wonderful expression of gratitude for Mother's WWII service. She did mention, if she is able to ride again in the military parade on Veteran's Day, she and her friend, another WWII nurse, she will place her QOV across their laps.

Thank you seems such an unworthy ending for this wonderful afternoon QOV has provided.

With warmest regards - Candy

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Grateful for Wonderful Americans

This is a photo of a quilt, made by Barbara File. It was made for Col. Thomas Joyce, who Barbara met when she donated quilts to the the Mortuary in Dover, DE. He was commander there, you can read about it in our QOV blog from June 13, 2012.


His response, in an e-mail, after receiving the quilt was:

" Barbara - Thank you!  I am honored to serve and am very grateful for wonderful Americans like you who do so much for members of the Armed Forces. The quilt of Valor and all it stands for means a great deal to me and my family. "

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

To Honor and Recognize his Military Service

From a member of the Region 8 QOV quilters of Lilburn, Ga.

On May 13, 2014, I presented a Quilt of Valor to my dear friend and former employer Terry of Palmyra, Virginia. Although I now live in Georgia, I wanted to be the one to make and present this QOV to Terry not only to honor and recognize his military service, but to honor and recognize his ongoing service to all of the military - active or retired - that he comes in contact with on a day to day basis.

This was a total surprise for Terry - the presentation was made at his place of business in Lake Monticello, Va.  His wife, Jeanne, and his daughters Abagail and Hannah, along with current employees and a few of his retired military friends attended the presentation.

Thank you

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Enlisted 8/19/1942 - Discharged 1/30/1946

Philip J. Bentzel, T. Sgt.

Enlisted 8/19/1942 - Discharged 1/30/1946

Was at Camp Lejune for training and then to the California Coast.  Headed to the South Pacific, crossing the International Date Line 7/9/1943 and engaged in battle and invasion  @ Guadalcanal mop up, Bouganville D. Day - Guam D. Day and Okinawa D. Day, after that was then off to China for 3 months.  Embarked on the ship USS Bland for home, took  39 days to return home.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Appreciation Is Never Too Late

We received this message from the Spouse...

Just wanted to say THANK YOU for all you do.. I heard about Quilts of Valor and mentioned it to my daughter---and she submitted her father's name.

Jim served in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970 in the infantry in the Tay Ninh province in the shadow of the Black Virgin Mountain. He walked in the jungles, rice paddies and the red dirt ... and on May 19th, 1970 he and the weapons platoon were ambushed near Memot, Cambodia. Casualties were 2 of his friends, Jim and many other platoon members, all being wounded in action.

In all these years he has kept the anger and resentment inside of himself, until 2011 when out of nowhere he received a phone call from one of his platoon buddies - someone who remembered his name, and the town where he was born, and they took a chance and called. From that phone call forward, my husband has been a changed man - changed for the better.

Now he wears his ball cap that proudly shows his Manchu insignia and he appreciates people stepping up and saying "Thank You for your service, Sir"... I have seen tears come to his eyes... He is close to retirement age now, and I'm so thankful that although it's late, the appreciation is there for what these service guys have done... and it goes right to their heart.

Please know that what you are doing means more to them than you can imagine!!!

wife of Jim

Monday, April 21, 2014

Beyond the Binding

The Lincoln QOV-ers accepted Susan Gordon's block drive challenge and had a little help today from a famous Friend of the IQSM. Marianne Fons and her daughter, Mary, were in town to give their presentation "Beyond the Binding." We were delighted to have Marianne spend the afternoon sewing QOV challenge blocks with our group. Meanwhile, Mary went shopping and met the Easter bunny in one of our local quilts shops.

What An Honor!

I wish I could have been in full dress to render him a salute…..

 Like all of us we have heroes.

I find commonality with all veterans.

They touch our lives….John Savage is my hero.

He is a Silver Star and Distinguished Service Medal recipient……