I don’t know what happened to July – I just realized it’s August – I must have been sleeping.
July began with a drive to Gustine for the 4th of July to award quilts. As we were going down the road I mentioned to Flo that I needed a new watch because all of mine were broken. So, we decided to flash into Wally World. We were running a little short on time (seems to be our life lately) so I picked out a Timex as they are always dependable and got back on the road. I took my patriotic knife out so Flo could get my watch out of the package and when she goes to set it hear, “oh no.” I glance at her and she is holding the stem that sets the watch. I couldn’t believe it. With no time to turn around I told Flo to put it back in and pray. She did and the watch started moving – boy was I happy – I don’t do good without a watch.
When we got to Gustine I was told I would be riding on the Gustine Alumni float and would be awarding quilts at the Judges Stand. We hid the quilts in the teepee on the float (Gustine High Redskins). As I climbed on to the float I was seated with the two veterans I was going to award quilts. The first was Frank, a WWII Purple Heart, POW Army veteran. Frank use to run the newspaper, was a teacher at the high school, and Mayor. He called my dad his best friend. The second veteran was a Vietnam Navy man of 31 years. Both knew me and all three of us were so proud to be on that float. It was as if we were important sitting up there, waving, seeing old friends. When we got to the Judges Stand, they gave each of our history then I got to award Frank his quilt – what an honor. He later said he was overwhelmed and never expected anything that special. Then I turned and got Mike’s quilt. He grabbed me and hugged me and said he felt so honored. The entire parade route were looking and clapping. It was a day I won’t forget in my hometown – riding on the float and awarding to veterans from my own hometown who are both heroes. Did I say it was also 100 plus degrees? It didn’t matter – we all enjoyed a very special day.
My schedule has been a little crazy as Dad has had therapy twice a week and we remodeled the kitchen and bathroom for them. Dad continues to improve and we thank you all for your continued prayers.
August began with us awarding quilts at the American Legion Post 102. All three veterans were told stories to get them to the meeting so we could honor them. Garry, USMC veteran of Vietnam is still showing his quilt to everyone that comes to his house. The second quilt went to Donna, an Air Force Iraq veteran with 17 years of service and is now helping veterans with their claims to VA. She was so shook she could hardly talk the rest of the night. The third quilt went to Dick, a Coast Guard veteran who is now a Chaplin for the Fire Department. When he hears of a veteran passing, he goes to the scene and places a flag over them.
Serving in the military changes your life one way or another and often, years later, you give back to your brothers and sisters in so many different ways. We see that in Quilts of Honor, so many veterans giving back. I also see moms, aunts, wives, dads, uncles, sisters, and brothers all giving back through Quilts of Honor by helping us with our mission.
We are on schedule for Mt. Vernon and Pilot Freight has stepped up to ship our quilts. We can still use quilts not only for Mt. Vernon, but local. We ship weekly to other states.
I will close for now but soon I’ll be back to tell you about our car show event.
God bless you all,
GUSTINE 4th of JULY
AMERICAN LEGION POST 102
DAD BELMONT AT AMERICAN LEGION MEETING