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Texas has Heart as Big as Texas

November 11th was Veterans Day.  I had a quilt for my 87 year old neighbor who had been a member of the Army Women’s Nursing Corp and retired with the rank of Colonel.  The plan was to take the quilt to her house in the early evening to surprise her.  Then I thought, why do it by myself?  This woman needs some recognition.  So, at 5:15pm, I went up and down the main road in our very little development and knocked on the doors of my friends.  I told them I wanted to give a quilt to Joann at 5:45pm and asked them to join me.  The plan was to sing Happy Veterans Day to You, give Joann her quilt, and then go our separate ways.  Not a single person refused.

We met at an intersection and walked to Joann’s house.  Everyone hid around the corner as I went to get Joann.  I knocked on her door and when she answered I told her she needed to put on her jacket and come with me.  Joann never asked a question or hesitated – she put on her jacket and came outside.  She was VERY surprised when she rounded the corner and was greeted by our makeshift neighborhood chorus singing our Happy Veterans Day song!

A fun presentation indeed!!!!

Dorothy Brett
Bexar County Quilts of Honor, TX

We’re Home

Hi everyone,

All the crew arrived home safe but tired.  We thank God for a great trip.  Hope you all were able to travel along with us and enjoy the journey.

Here is a link to the Contra Costa Times regarding the Veterans’ Day Ceremony in Walnut Creek.  There are some great photos.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/News/ci_26922795/Walnut-Creek:-A-warming-thankyou-to-local-veterans

Queen B’s QOH worked with Pastor Russ to accomplish this mission.  For being first time quilters, the Berean Christian High Students did a wonderful job.

Until our next Adventure…………………

God bless,
Gail

 

 

We have done it again – honored so many in different parts of the United States. Yesterday, Veterans Day, began with a picnic beside the Potomac River.  We had gotten Safeway deluxe sandwiches, sat at the table, watched the squirrels, ducks and a deer and enjoyed the river.  I did feed the squirrels some of my sandwich until Barbara busted me.

We were due at the Women’s Memorial at 1:30pm on the nose and we had a caravan of three vans. The roads were packed and the road into Arlington was like race car driving.  We had gotten special parking passes to get into the Memorial so we felt kinda special.  We walked into the Memorial and were kindly greeted and they all said they had been waiting for us.  We sat up all of our Service quilts – one to represent each branch of the Service.  People loved them.  Then we moved outside to where the ceremony was to start.  They had setup a large white table for us to put quilts on.  When we got there we had to change all the letters on the back of the quilts and fill in all the labels.  It kept every one of us moving.  Then our veterans started coming in.

Our first veteran was a Women’s Army Corps LTC, one of the first female ordinance officers in WWII. Did I tell you she was 107 years old and still as bright as a tack?  Lou told her he would be honored to salute her and he did and she was so cool, she saluted back.  We awarded her quilt and everyone around said they would show it off.  We all felt we had just witnessed a piece of history and for me, such an honor.  Our next recipient was a 95 year old WWII Air Force female.  Then came a Purple Heart Recipient from Florida, a male.

Half way through the ceremony, I was called up to award quilts to each of the 5 services – all female. Guess which one was the quilter.  Surprise, the Marine and she loved her quilt.  They all loved their quilts but she really understood.  Then we gave the BG, Wilma Vaughn, her quilt.  It was a hand appliquéd Eagle Lynne had done and the General really liked it.  After the ceremony ended, we had already spotted who we were going to award quilts to.  12 of the Quilts of Honor crew went in all different directions awarding quilts.  Carolyn found a veteran nurse in the gift shop and awarded her a quilt right there in the gift shop.  I had the honor of awarding a quilt to an Army Bugler from the old guard, a female.  I came before her and now she carries on.  Lou and I spotted an Airborne Army Ranger and we walked right up to him.  I grabbed his hand and he said, “oh God, I’m so honored.”  We gave quilts to two Army Chaplains and continued until it was almost dark and they were getting ready to lock the gates of Arlington.  The crew worked so hard.

We had scheduled our last dinner together at Bertucci’s Italian Food – 3 different pizzas and 3 different pastas. They gave us a break on dinner as it was Veterans Day.  We ended our evening awarding a quilt, made by Flo, to Sondra, a female Marine veteran who works with Quilts of Honor East.  She truly loved the quilt – she cried and cried as Lou and I presented her with the quilt.

This is what we are all about – giving back to our veterans and never forgetting what they have sacrificed. There are many stories to tell.  Maybe after a few days of rest I can tell some more.  We accomplished more than I expected and Quilts of Honor continues to grow.  I am so proud to be a part of something so great.

To the Santillos who hosted us – we love you dearly and when we come here, we come home.

God bless you all until next time,
Gail

Thanks to Cynthia Wheeler for the great pictures from the Quilts of Honor presentation on November 11th to ten veterans.  Queen B’s QOH was part of the presentation held at Berean Christian High School in Walnut Creek, CA.  Queen B’s workshop provided 7 of the quilts presented with 3 more quilts pieced by the students, all first time quilters.

The presentation was moderated by Pastor Russ Belmont (Gail Belmont’s brother) and each quilt was presented to the veterans by the students. The patriotic feel was thanks to the school choir who did a wonderful job.

About 10 members of our Queen B’s workshop were at the presentation. I know that every one of us who were there was so proud just to be a part of this day.  What a great start to Veterans’ Day!

Susan Denton
Queen B’s Quilts of Honor
Antioch, CA

Last Day in DC

Good morning,

We have packed our quilts for shipment home and had a great breakfast from Jeannine this morning. Today we are actually playing tourists.  First stop is the Vietnam Wall for all of us, especially Flo.  Then, off to the Women’s Memorial because yesterday we were so busy giving quilts from 1:30-5:00 that we didn’t even have time to check out the restroom.

We gave out over 50 quilts.  One of our highlights was giving a quilt to a 107 year old veteran. Will tell more of our day later but Quilts of Honor continues to amaze so many who have never seen us.  I know Queen B’s had a great ceremony in Walnut Creek, CA so look forward to their post also.

God bless and stay tuned……………
Gail

Veterans’ Day – DC

Gail and Lou

Gail and Lou

Today I want to thank all those who serve and all those who have come before them. As a veteran myself, this has always been a special day.  I used to drag my Godson to our Veterans’ Parade in Stockton and we would all dress patriotic.  For him, he has paid a sacrifice that he carries with him every day.  He will heal one day just like many of us as we are all VETERANS.  We gave that blank check to the United States of America and we still do in our hearts.

Being in Washington, DC for Veterans’ Day has always been a dream for my veteran brother, Lou and I and to be at the Wall. We probably won’t make it as they have closed many roads and we are due at the Women’s Memorial at 1:30pm.  But, our hearts are with all our brothers and sisters on this day.  It is a great honor to be a woman veteran at the biggest Memorial for women today but also a great honor to have my Quilts of Honor crew and host family to celebrate with.

When I wrote the blog last night I was trying so hard to remember everything that happened to us as this is what we do. When everyone was standing in line to go into George Washington’s Tomb, the line kept growing.  Since they only opened the Tomb for Quilts of Honor, I went up to the gatekeeper and told him where our group ended.  There had to be another 50 plus standing in line.  A small lady said, “I’m a veteran.”  One of our group asked her where she served and she proudly replied, “I was in the Women’s Army Signal Corps.”  When we finished our tour and went back to our display, I pulled out a quilt and we waited for her to return.  As she got to our quilts, I walked up to her and presented her with a quilt.  She was shocked but so thrilled.  She told us she had been in Vietnam which is rare for women who aren’t nurses.  Most of her friends had been exposed to Agent Orange and have cancer.  So you know God was watching out for her and she was supposed to meet Quilts of Honor.

At the end of the day we had taken all of the extra quilts to the car including the pillowcases when a Vietnam veteran walked up. He had been in the US Army 82nd Airborne.  The girls from WISE, Wisconsin South Ease Quilts of Honor, jumped up and said they would give him one of their quilts from the display.  So down they came – that is the heart of Quilts of Honor family – always giving.

I thank each and every one of you for all you give to my brothers and sisters. As I close this morning, I want to wish my Dad, a big strong Marine, happy Veterans’ Day – love you Dad – and to my Uncle Joe, a Navy Seabee.

God bless all on this Veterans’ Day. We will be back shortly, so stay tuned…………

Gail

Final Day at Mt. Vernon

Here we go – I have more stories than I can write about in this Blog – that’s how our day went. Our Ceremony started right on time with the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, a brief introduction and then we were off and running.  We had a few mishaps on who was who but I think it was because it was Navy.  We gave out 22 Navy quilts and 2 Air Force quilts during the ceremony.  3 of the Navy recipients were wounded warriors brought from Bethesda.  16 more quilts went to the EOD Unit that had gotten shipped out at the last minute.  Overall, it was great.  Everyone really liked the quilts.  The Honor Guard all asked if they could hug us and thank us.

At the end of the ceremony, we called Jamie up to the stage to present the Mt. Vernon quilt. Jamie said they were honored to help us and support us in what we do.  I heard through the grape vine that they were showing if off and trying to decide where to put it.

We all walked down to George Washington’s Tomb as John guided us down the hill. I got to ride in a golf cart so you know I got a good teasing from the crew.  When we got to the Tomb, John shared the history then he called our wounded warriors up and let them lay the wreath inside the Tomb.  I played Taps and then they let our group enter the Tomb.  I was told by one of the Mt. Vernon employees that it was only the second time the Tomb had been opened.  Some of our group were able to take pictures inside the Tomb.

As we were walking back, we saw two longhorns so I played my trumpet for them. Everyone just cracked up laughing.  Everyone said those cows sure enjoyed it so maybe I should practice with them.

One of our big thrills today was meeting 102 year old Mrs. McCain and her son Joe, a Vietnam veteran, who we presented with a quilt. Our last quilts were given to a husband and wife.  The wife was getting upset because she wanted to buy a quilt and I told her we didn’t sell them and then we presented her and her husband with a quilt.  Our quilts had been put away so the WISE QOH quilters pulled their quilts down from the displays and presented them – so cool.

I could go on and on but my brain is worn out. I will continue with more tomorrow so stay tuned.

God bless this day and all of you. Quilts of Honor continues to honor.

Night all,
Gail

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