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TBS 1-68 Marine Reunion

We started the day deciding Flo and I would go to the beach and Barb would wait for her sister Sharon. Flo is learning to navigate on iPhone with Maps. Normally that’s Debbie’s job. It takes a lot of patience to direct my driving. So, I’m asking Flo, “are you sure we’re going right?” She looks at me and says, “You need a time out.” Guess I wasn’t doing too good. She said she would be glad when Debbie is back. We did get to the beach – check out the name of the park – “BELMONT Park”-so cool to see that name big. We went to a big flea market which was kind of interesting and even got to take a nap before dinner and ceremony.

The unit paid for our dinner but it took 20 minutes longer and we almost didn’t make it in time. We still had to go upstairs and change our clothes which we were doing when they called and said they were ready. I was yelling at Flo that we gotta go and texting Barb that we gotta go. We walked in the door and we heard, “SSG, front and center.” Boy was that close.

They called me up and had me speak. Then Barb and Flo worked the quilts while Sharon took pictures. We called them up 5 at a time. Now, these guys were all officers in the Marines but I told them they had to follow orders from a female Army SSG. They all laughed but they didn’t get out of line. They didn’t realize there were quilts inside their cases until the first 5 pulled them out. Then came the sounds from the crowd, ooh, aww and claps. I watched the faces of the crowd as the guys unveiled their quilts; the wives had big smiles and all were so happy. They couldn’t believe we were giving each one a quilt. One recipient said, “This is for the ones who didn’t come home” as his voice broke. Another one said, “nobody every does something like this for me.” And another said, “this is such an honor your doing for us.” I got so many hugs and kisses – one kissed me on top of my head – that was pretty funny. It was so beautiful to see that each one was so taken by their quilt. They knew how much it meant and the labor of love it took to create. Every time we do one of these reunions where we don’t tell the guys that they will be receiving a quilt is unforgettable.

After we presented all the quilts, we introduced the QOH crew and they all stood and clapped. Many hugged the ladies. As I was walking out the door, one veteran came and introduced me to his wife who was a Marine veteran who served during Vietnam. We had brought two extra quilts so guess what we did. We called her up and presented her a quilt. Everyone in the room agreed that women who served during that era had their own combat. There was also an active duty Marine in attendance with a Purple Heart so there went another quilt.

So the night was a great success and once again we honored so many.

I’m finishing this at breakfast where we could barely get through our meal for all the thank you’s from the guys and them telling us how much it meant.

God bless each one of you who help us to continue our mission. We are off to Disneyland now for some R and R.

Gail

 

 

San Diego Marine Reunion

I will make it short tonight as we finished late but will write more tomorrow. Quilts of Honor went above and beyond when we honored this Unit. The quilts were so beautiful and the guys were so taken. I know for many, it was an experience they will never forget.

There are 2 pictures included with this Blog – the smiles and the way two of the recipients are looking at their quilts says it all.

God bless until I can tell our story,
Gail

San Diego Safe and Sound

Well, we made two u-turns before we got 30 miles down the road this morning so I’m thinking it’s going to be a long day. It was so green driving through the Grapevine and the poppies were already blooming.

Barb and Flo are my sidekicks for this event so on our ride down, we had enough snacks for an army. It was a good thing because we didn’t get to stop for about 3 hours while we were stuck in LA traffic. For future trips to anyone who knows Flo, don’t let her sing for you. I almost drove off the road.

We made a pit stop outside of Laguna Beach to find restrooms. We saw a TJMAX so we thought they would have a bathroom so we walked in. Now, if any of you have been in TJMAX around our area, it has discounted items. Were we fooled – they had runway clothes and the first sweater I saw was $2,495.00. My teeth almost fell out. I yelled at Barb and Flo to come and see it. We all got an experience in that store and I won’t forget it. Flo said it sure wasn’t like home meaning Stockton. Next thing we saw was gas for $2.99 – glad we live in Northern California.

We landed at the Crown Plaza and at one time this was a pretty fancy place with waterfalls, fish ponds and a glass elevator. We went to dinner in Old Town San Diego – best Mexican food around. I asked the girls if it was worth driving 8 hours to eat there and they both said, “not that good.” We all laughed.

Heading off to bed – big day tomorrow. Stay tuned ……………..
God bless and keep stitching,
Gail

PS: Missouri Star Quilt Company listed Quilts of Honor on their Blog as a good charity to donate.
http://blog.missouriquiltco.com/quiltingforacause/

 

I thought November was busy but then December hit and we never missed a beat with all the quilts and their presentations. One ceremony after another, all so deserving and rewarding for our veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf and Iraq. We managed to surprise each recipient. Look at the great smiles on some of those faces and yes, we got many tears always from our Vietnam veterans. One week we did three ceremonies and traveled over 400 miles by the time we were done.

We have gone above and beyond when asked for quilts even on short notice. We had three days to prepare 14 quilts and get them ready – take pictures, fill out labels, and attach letters. It is sometimes overwhelming. Our QOH crew always comes through.

Some of our special moments were awarding to a five year recovering homeless veteran who now works helping other veterans. Then the 90 plus year old WWII veteran who flew 90 some missions and was an unspoken hero. We gave to our Veteran Brotherhood, a group of Vietnam veterans who got together and formed a group to help each other. For the past 5 years we have been working with this group and each year they pick more recipients who are always surprised to receive their quilts. I especially liked awarding to an Army cowboy and he let me borrow his hat after I gave him his quilt. They said it was a little large for me – what do you think?

We went to the VFW in Concord, CA-we were their big surprise at their Christmas lunch and we awarded 14 quilts.

Haven’t gotten a total yet for 2016 of quilts awarded from all our groups but I know everyone went above and beyond. I am so proud of this organization.

Sorry for the late post. Tomorrow (Friday) we will be on our way to San Diego to award quilts at a Marine Reunion so stay tuned. . . . . . . . .

God bless,
Gail

Merry Christmas To All

christmasI don’t know where the time has gone this year.  The last three weeks have been filled with honoring veterans and now it’s time for family and friends to celebrate the reason for the season, the birth of Christ.

I would like to wish all of our Quilts of Honor family a joyous Christmas.  It is a blessing to have each of you in our lives and honoring our veterans.  We give the gift of giving all year long and it takes a family of volunteers to do that.  Our QOH family is the best.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas
Gail

 

Last Day in DC

Today we got to meet up with my WAC Band Sister, Carol who has moved the DC area. She was the chauffeur driving us all over so we played tourist.

We went to the Vietnam Wall so Flo could see Johnny’s name. It was really cold but nice and sunny. Then we went to the Christmas market with over 60 booths – really different from California stuff. We had a nice lunch at the Green Turtle – what a name – then went on a tour of Shirlington, VA. You can see I tried to take pictures of every Christmas tree – they are so big and beautiful. We talked Carol into going to the variety store before heading back to Carl and Jeannine’s.

Jeannine made a great dinner and apple crisp. We could get spoiled here. We fly out at 5:30 am tomorrow and look forward to coming home. Even though I have been here for a few days, I’ve never stopped working. Our requests for events keep coming in so this next year is going to be interesting. Enjoy the pictures. Hope to see you all soon.

God bless,
Gail

 

Quite a Day in DC

Our mission today was to go to Mt. Vernon and get Christmas ornaments. Jeannine let us use her ‘hot rod’ – it’s an Audi and it was really cool and very sporty.   Plus, we didn’t have to ride the Metro.

It started pouring rain and was pretty cold but those heated seats were our lifesavers. The first thing we saw, as we walked into Mt. Vernon, was the beautiful Christmas tree. It was right where we had our quilts displayed when we were there. It really felt like we were in a special place we knew. We chatted with the help and they all remembered Quilts of Honor.

Then we went to Old Town to get ice cream and Pops and it was closed so a-shopping we went. You know we can’t stop Flo from shopping. We had a nice lunch in old town and later we went to the favorite 5 and 10 store and our famous bakery.

Pat came by and picked up the Marine Quilt and then we had a great dinner that Jeannine fixed. We really rested most of the day which is still new to me with this knee. Tomorrow we will try for better weather and hopefully visit the Wall.

All stay well and safe and keep stitching. God bless,
Gail