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“I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude for the gorgeous quilted blanket”

I just received a letter from Afghanistan regarding a QOV I sent recently. This letter is a thank you to all who make Quilts of Valor. Congratulations!

"Dear Ms R.,

On behalf of all our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors of the United States and fellow Coalition and Special Forces, and the nurses, doctors, and corpsmen who care for them, I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude for the gorgeous quilted blanket you have bestowed upon us. We had just received it about a week and a half ago and we gave it today to a young soldier who was involved in an IED attack. His first name is Jamie.

Not to worry though, Jamie will be just fine after some more time. In fact, he will be back on duty after returning to the States for further repair and convalescence. He was exceedingly grateful for your precious gift and it made him smile through this rough time.

We here at the frontline of caring are so grateful for the Quilts of Valor program. It is no small thing to receive such a warm and comforting gift from your hearts reminding our warriors they have the love and fidelity of the people back home. I thank you personally for your service and devotion to our country. Please know that your hard work and devotion is greatly appreciated. Thank you again and may God Bless and keep you always.

Most Sincerely,
Captain P. Hagan
Nurse Corps, United States Navy
Intensice Care Unit"

It so happens that Captain P. Hagan lives on the same street as good friends of ours. What a small world!

Nancy of Massachusetts

June 24, 2010
“I speak for all the nurses I work with and also for the patient”

November 11, 2004
Veteran's Day

Another night of air evac wounded soldiers came in from Landstuhl last night to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We wait outside in the cold for them to take them to the ICU where I work as an Army Critical Care Nurse. In the next few months with the new offensive happening we know we'll get more later on, but for now, we take care of what we have and do what we have to do. The routine of getting them up to us has unfortunately become well organized due to plenty of practice. Sometimes I wonder if anyone in the world outside is aware of what goes on. It's been a long time that this has been going on and I wonder if they forget since they don't see what I see everyday. One of the good things that I can always count on is seeing their quilts when they come out off the makeshift ambulance. It helps me to remember that people have not forgotten these guys. Even though they may be too sick/unresponsive/sedated to be responsible for their personal gear and keep themselves warm, they always come with a quilt. I speak for all the nurses I work with and also for the patient who can't be grateful at the time and for the families whose main concern is their loved one.... WE LOVE THOSE QUILTS AND WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THEM!!! It makes my day to know that, even though the war on terror continues and this Veteran's day makes the second one at war, people still remember and care for these soldiers. They are not forgotten. These quilts are all so beautiful and all so unique. We look forward to admiring them and use them to our advantage. We place them over our patients when the families first come. They are so beautiful and I believe they help the families to adjust to seeing their injured loved one, they help make the patient look good!! When the pt is hot or has a fever, we put the quilts over the footrest and it brightens the place a bit. Later when the patients are better, the family and soldiers fawn over the blankets and always feel honored and pleased to own them. They become prized possessions. We just wanted to say: WE THANK YOU!!! Thank you for not forgetting; Thank you for your time and beautiful work. And please continue to do what you do. You are making a difference!!! Please let all your quilters around the country that we are all grateful.

Thank You!!

S.A., MAJ
US Army Nurse Corps
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
MICU

June 22, 2010
“I am so touched by this wonderful gift.”

Phyllis and Carolyn,
I am a physician assistant for the US Air Force. Following an accident overseas a few months ago, I and eight others were rescued and brought to a hospital in Germany. During my hospital stay, I was given a beautiful quilt made by QOV Quilters of Galesburg, Illinois. There is no address on the quilt, but a label and note signed by many people. I searched the internet and found your e-mail ad- dresses. So, I hope this is getting to the right peo- ple.
I am so touched by this wonderful gift. It was given to me as they were sending some of my buddies home, while others had to stay at the Germany hospital longer. It was quite an emo- tional moment as our group was going their sepa- rate ways, but every one of us was wrapped in a quilt sent from home. The quilt was a great com- fort to me and a reminder of why we serve. Thank you so much forgoing through the trouble of mak- ing and sending it to me. It is proudly on display in my home and I will cherish it always. Please express my heartfelt gratitude to Margaret, Sharon, Kathleen, Kathy, Jane, Sylvia, Karen, Janet, Shirley, Julia, and Amy as well.
Most of our group is fully recovered from our in- juries, and the remaining guys are improving
everyday. I have already returned to duty and re- cently served in the Haiti relief effort. Thank you all again.


Sincerely,
RF, Captain, USAF

May 7, 2010
“Illinois National Guard Troops who returned last year after a year in Afghanistan, some with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th deployments.”

On January 10, 2010, we had the honor of giving QOVs to 63 Illinois National Guard Troops who returned last year after a year in Afghanistan, some with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th deployments.    The 106th Calvary 2nd Squadron, also known as the Aurora based Charlie Troop, were welcomed home with a Freedom Salute Ceremony.    The celebration included speakers and presentation of medals. At the end of the ceremony, we took pictures as they took their quilts out of the pillowcases and opened the quilts to share with their families. Their smiles were our “thank you’s!!”  The labels on the quilts read “Northern Illinois QuiltsofValor.” We have provided quilts for the Wounded Soldier Fund, Hines Hospital and Great Lakes Returning Warrior Workshop.


We meet the first Tuesday of every month at Prairie Shop Quilts, Batavia, IL. We have been meeting for about six months now and finding a sew-in at home is just as fun!


Rita Pennington Illinois

May 7, 2010
“As a college student, I wore a bracelet in remembrance of you and other Americans held in captivity in Vietnam.”

Following is the background story on a quilt that my sister and I presented (by mail) to a VietNamVeteran before Christmas. The pattern that we used to piece the top is called “Remembrance”


Dear RB,
As a college student, I wore a bracelet in remembrance of you and other Americans held in captivity in Vietnam. My bracelet bore your name. I was very happy to remove my bracelet when you were released in 1973.

Flash forward over 3 1/2 decades to 2009. For the past three years, my sister and I have been making QOVs for returning American soldiers. When going through some files a few months ago, I came across the news article that I had saved for 36 years that listed the POW's being released with your name among them. Although you have occasionally been in my thoughts all these many years, it wasn't until that day when I re-read the article that I realized we must present you with a QOV. How excited we have been at the thought of you opening the box and accepting our gift to you!


The quilt combines the workmanship of three people, my sister and I pieced the top and Jonnie  in Georgia quilted it. When I approached Jonnie and gave her the background information about the POW bracelet, she was very pleased to be a part, especially because she had lost her "first love" to the Vietnam war.

So you see, there is much more involved in this quilt than fabric and stitches.  This Quilt of Valor is filled with love and appreciation. Please accept this token of our appreciation. It is our way of honoring you and saying "THANK YOU" for your service to preserve our freedom. You have not been forgotten!


K Z, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
S H, Galloway, NJ


We were thrilled to receive the following reply from Lt. Commander RB:


“It was a wonderful surprise to receive the beauti- ful quilt. It really warms my heart to realize that we have such dedicated patriots in our country such as yourselves.
I will remember your kindness always.
Thank you very much!!”


SH Galloway, New Jersey

May 7, 2010
“As a POC, I am regularly receiving quilts from all over the country.”

From CDR Jones - Doctor at the Joint Hospital in Afghanistan
I am regularly receiving quilts from all over the country.    Please express our thanks to your team of dedicated folks. This has been wonderful. CDR Russell has been involved in the delivery of the quilts to our wounded soldiers. I spoke with her last week and she said that it is going very well and that the troops are very affected by the receipt of such a thoughtful gift. I’ll let CDR Russell chime in with any other thoughts she might have.    I think we are getting just the right amount of quilts.    So from our end, things seem to be working very well. I think it would be great if we can continue this effort past our time and turn it over to the folks who will follow us in March.
CDR Jones

May 7, 2010
“I have seen your quilts and know they are a treasured gift.”

I couldn’t agree more with CDR Jones.    It has truly been my great pleasure to present your beautiful quilts to our soldiers and Marines wounded in combat. I have seen your quilts at Landstuhl and Bethesda, and know that they are a treasured gift. By sending your quilts here, you are getting them to some men who would not have received them otherwise because they are returned to duty. I have given them to our guys with wounds ranging from concussion and blast injuries to amputations.    Your quilts have been covering sol- diers while they were presented their Purple Hearts here in Afghanistan.    I have attached a photo of one soldier who was eager to let you know how thankful he was for your quilt.    Please pass along my most sincere gratitude to everyone in your organization for the opportunity to share some love from home at a time when the wounded can use it most!
Warmest Regards, CDR Mary Russell

May 7, 2010
“We absolutely love them since we live in chilly Colorado.”

I wanted to thank the Quilts of Valor Foundation in Temecula for the fantastic quilts they made for my hus- band and me.    We absolutely love them, and since we live in chilly Colorado, they are put to good use daily! Please extend our thanks to others who helped make our quilts if possible. I found your email address on the Quilts of Valor site. If you have any contact information where I could send another email or letter of thanks, I would appreciate it.


Thank you, J &RC

May 7, 2010
“I received the quilt in the mail today...”

I received the quilt in the mail today, It's amazing thank you so much, words can't express how I feel it is nice to know that there are people who care about what I, and so many others have gone through, and are still going through. It means more than you know. My three year old son absolutely loves the quilt, as soon as I opened it he jumped in to it and covered up. Please tell Marsha thank you as well, her work is amazing, what a beautiful art.
Thanks again.
Sincerely,
CPL RHR

April 26, 2010
“As this war rages on...”

I am R’s wife C.  I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your kindness to my husband. We are both very grateful to know that there are people who care about what our service men and women are enduring day after day as this war rages on.  

Thank you again so much.

God bless you and your family.

The R’s.
 

April 26, 2010
“The woman on the other end of the phone asked if this was the Quilts of Something.”

The woman on the other end of the phone asked if this was the Quilts of Something.  I said yes.  She went on to say that the librarian helped her find my number because her husband had received this wonderful quilt at the Dover Air Force Base’s Port Mortuary.  She went on to say that both she and her husband were overwhelmed with the gesture and beautifully made quilt. No one who works at the Mortuary expected anyone to honor their service and work preparing our Fallen Warriors for their final journey home.  Her husband did not want to send home the written letter that accompanied the quilt for fear the postal service would lose it.  She told me he is going to have the letter framed and needless to say, the quilt will occupy a very honored place in their house.
I reflected that his job must be very stressful, emotionally draining and one which is pretty much hidden from most people’s view and therefore thoughts.  She replied that it was indeed very stressful but he wouldn’t want to do anything else right now.   
Her phone call confirmed to me that the Staff at the Port Mortuary who receive the remains of our Fallen Warriors are worthy recipients of your lovingly made quilts.

April 26, 2010
“I continue to be in awe at the wonder of how a bit of fabric, some batting, thread and a binding yields the essence of our pride in our servicemembers.”

This weekend I was able to gather together all my notes and information from the past year. It seemed like a “light” year, working around Nancy’s and I’s kids’ weddings, but with so many of you taking ‘homework’ and with your ongoing dedication to this noble cause, we were able to “warm” the hearts of 91 service members!!! Yes, we managed to complete and send out 91 quilts during 2008, thus making our grand total 268 quilts. Thank you all so very much, and it doesn’t matter whether you think your contribution is large or small, because it all comes down to doing “something” so that our Service men and women know someone cares. There are a few behind the scenes people I would like to acknowledge; their support has been invaluable: Sharon, Sue, Caroline and Nancy who help with all the cutting and sewing involved in making the sewing kits Nancy, who has made the bindings for just about all of those 268 quilts David and Willy, who have washed and ironed ‘hundreds’ of yards fabric Fran and Murielle, who took on the enormous task of bringing our photo albums up to date by organizing and documenting 100+ pictures Peter and Vicki, who update our web site and try to keep it current www.blert.net/qov check it out! Denis, who has made countless delicious meals and provides so much behinds the scenes support And lastly Debbie, who donated 500+ bolts of fabric that will keep us making quilts for a long time! We’ll be getting together for our first sewing day of 2009 on Saturday, January 24th. I’m hoping we can sneak this in between the many storms we have been having, but will have a ‘snow date’ of the 25th. Please let me know if you are coming, it helps with set up and food to have some vague idea of how many people. The chef hasn’t said much about the dinner menu, but I think something from South of the Border would help in this cold weather. Your spouses or SO’s are always welcome for dinner, we usually start winding down around 430pm. Thanks again! Marilyn Catherine I spent 24 years in the USN as a submariner. I also experienced the negative reaction of the early 70s towards service members. At one point we were ordered not to wear our uniforms off base. QOVs are the antithesis of the 70s. The QOV vocation is an unbelievable gift and patriotic act. I continue to be in awe at the wonder of how a bit of fabric, some batting, thread and a binding yields the essence of our pride in our service members, particularly during their time of need. Thanks for your leadership. If you every make your way to Connecticut, you are welcome to come to our home and see our QOV factory and possible enjoy one of my meals. I salute you and all the QOV members on behalf of all service members past and future. And I may be a bit biased but my wife is AWESOME!

 Thanks,

DF LCDR, USN retired

April 17, 2010
“After the shell shock, trauma and intense pain, as well as numerous surgeries, your quilt was just the thing I needed.”

Hi all -
As many of you know I work with the 5th grade students at our local Elementary school making Quilts of Valor for the soldiers. At the end of the school year we take our quilts to Fort Carson and deliver them to the Chaplain there to disperse to soldiers. We include a photo album of the making of the quilts along with letters written by the children.

I wanted to share a letter the we recieved back this week - now as you know we rarely get letters back and that is not the reason we make the quilts. But I wanted everyone to know that they are appreicated - even if we don't get written proof....

Dear Platte Valley 5th Grade Class

My name is Specialist Kyle. I am an Infantryman in the US Army. On September 30th, I was severly injured in a morter attack in Baqubah, Iraq. The explosion injured my legs and right lung. I was evacuated to Germany, then to Washington DC, and finally to Fort Carson CO.

Upon my arrival to Fort Carson I was presented with the most beautiful quilt from your class. I want everyone to know how much this lifted my spirits. After the shell shock, trauma and intense pain, as well as numerous surgeries, your quilt was just the thing I needed. When I look through your lovely binder, I can feel the love from each one of you. My hometown is in Wyoming, so I sure understand your wonderful community.

Please stay in touch. I would like to drop by and say THANKS.

Spc Kyle Wyoming


As a follow up to that - one of the teachers contacted him and he is still recovering. His parents helped him write the letter, but we are working on getting him to come to the school and talk to our class - we are hoping the 7th and 6th grade can join us as they have also particpated in this program when they were in 5th grade.

I hope this inspires you to keep on doing what you are doing - and as my favorite chaplain says - "Care with Honor"

April 17, 2010
“My heart ached when I remembered our Vietnam Vets.”

I just read the quote from a Viet Nam vet on the home page and it made me think about a conversation I had last year with a neighbor who also asked my why no one was doing this when "They" came home from Viet Nam? At that time our focus seemed to be on covering the visibly wounded, but since then the need has been recognized and now I remember that conversation and my heart is aching. I shall be visiting that man and taking my latest QOV with his name already in place. How could I have missed the need right under my nose? Don't get me wrong I am pleased to have shipped many QOV to those in need but I think I better start to look a lot closer to home and maybe some others do too.


BB

April 17, 2010
“My talking about QOVF helps this program come alive.”

 I am a QOV quilter who has been asked by a local guild to describe my participation in the foundation and how it works. This website has really grown in content and there are a lot of you out there who have contributed. It makes it that much easier to inspire others to get involved. With your unspoken permission, I will mention some of you and what you have to say so that this program takes on a real beating heart to another group of quilters asking what is this Quilts of Valor program and how can we help?
Thank You.

B. S., Oconomowoc, WI

April 17, 2010
“I was asked to write about dedication and motivation in making QOVs.”

I was visiting with Catherine the other day via e-mail and she asked me to write up a little something about dedication and motivation….Hummm… I would have to give that one some thought.

This is the time of year that seems to take on a personality and a life of its own! This is the time we get so busy and stressed out because… There are Holiday pageants and programs to attend, shopping to do, decorations to hang, letters to write, cards and packages to mail, family to visit, places to go, people to see, parties, food, etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

Stop, take a deep breath! Remember the reason for this season. When all the happenings are over and all the stuff is put away…what we remember of the season (the whole year for that matter) is the way our life has been touched by those around us or by those we have reached out to.

I have been a war time quilter for just a little over a year now. I just completed QOV #67 and I hope to get a few more finished before the end of the year. (Ok, I saw you give that number a double take and I feel the need to tell you….yes I have a life. I work full time and have a family and a couple grand children and I do other community service work as well.) Making Quilts of Valor is my passion. Next to becoming a Grandma this is probably the most wonderful thing I have ever been a part of. It has touched my life in so many ways I hardly know where to begin. Each time I hear from a recipient of a quilt it just adds to the motivation to keep sewing and sewing. I have almost an obsession to spread the word and get others to sew as well. 

Sometimes as our life gets out of control and we get bogged down with our “doings” and “goings on” it is easy to forget that WAR is 24/7. Our men and women serving this nation don’t get to sit it out at Starbucks if the going gets ruff and they need a little escape. They are just there dealing with it. The stress must be exhausting. We have to remember not all the wounded are those with physical wounds some wounds are the emotional burdens. Not all wounds bleed but they all leave scars. Let’s take the time to remember them at this time of year. Let’s remember the sacrifice they are making to protect our country our freedom and our families.

Even though our plate is full so to speak lets remember to slip into our sewing rooms and stitch a little for the cause. Let’s engage strangers in conversation about our mission. Let’s take a little time to send some reminders to the members of our guilds and round robins. Lets make our mission a 24/7. We are still at war and we are still quilting.

I hope your lives will be touched with all the blessings of the Holiday Season and through the coming New Year.



Lori Reg Coordinator, Quilts of Valor Wenatchee, WA

April 17, 2010
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