Veterans Week 2015

Boy, did we have a busy week. We started on November 8th and haven’t really stopped yet.

On November 10th, Debbie and Flo went with me to the Shriners Veterans Day celebration in Livermore. We had a nice dinner – hot dogs and hamburgers – and the USS Hornet Band played for us. We gave out 10 Quilts of Honor. My most memorable were the last two. Both were not on the list to receive quilts. One of the guys came up to me after I spoke and asked what he had to do get a quilt for his friend, a Purple Heart recipient and a survivor of Iwo Jima. I told him I would fix him up. The first was a WWII veteran and was at the battle of Saipan. When we called his name, his face lit up – he was so grateful. When I called the Purple Heart recipient to give him his quilt, he was so surprised and said he wasn’t even going to come that night and he was sure glad he did. He is 96 years young, a Marine, and proud of it. He told us how he was shot and all around him his friends were dying. We were so happy to honor such heroes.

On November 11th, Flo and I headed to Concord, CA at “0-dark-thirty” for an 8:30 am ceremony at Berean Christian School. We met our Queen B’s Quilts of Honor group and two of our Board members, Carl and Russ, all of whom were helping in the ceremony. I was scheduled to speak along with my brother-in-arms, Lou, who is also our military advisor. They had a beautiful National Anthem sung by two of a set of triplets – they were awesome. It was one of the most emotional ceremonies. I think every recipient cried and all were so surprised they were being honored. Their stories were so awesome. A WWII recipient told of how he came home on a hospital ship and passed under the Golden Gate Bridge and was so proud to be home. He never thought he would receive an honor like a quilt. Queen B’s also gave one to Susan’s husband. Susan is our coordinator for Queen B’s along with Nancy. Gary was so cute. He said, “I’ve seen a lot of these in my house but never thought I would receive one.” It was truly a great day. After the ceremony we went to the Choir’s classroom and they sang to us. We also went to the home economics room to meet some of the kids who made the quilts. Because of Quilts of Honor they are now teaching the kids how to quilt. That is pretty awesome. We ended up giving out 15 quilts and 400 students watched how emotional it was for the recipients to receive quilts. Many of them came up to us, thanked us, and told us stories of their parents. It was truly a great experience all around. A special thank you to Queen B’s QOH group for all their hard work. A day like November 11th at this ceremony makes you see why we do this and will keep on.

On Friday the 13th, Debbie and I headed to Angels Camp to award two quilts at their Veterans ceremony. There were two Iraq veterans, one with a Purple Heart and the other with multiple tours. The one with multiple tours had big tears and asked if he could give me a hug – he was truly overwhelmed.

What a week. The Table Rock Quilts of Honor in Branson Missouri was in a Veterans Day parade and gave out quilts. Bexar County Texas Quilts of Honor was on TV in their area, and WISE QOH also gave out quilts this weekend. I would say we are doing an awesome job.

Now we prepare for December and another 40 quilts to get ready. The need is great and we sure got our work cut out for us. Thank you to all who helped make it a great week.

God bless,


Last Day the Best Day

We started out the morning going to the USS Midway – now that is one big ship. There were tons of stairs and many tiny spaces but so many things to see. It makes you realize what all those Navy guys go through. We met some great docents who were veterans volunteering on the ship. I was wishing we had quilts for them. When we drove into the parking lot, the parking attendant looked at our signs on the car and said, “I saw you on the news this morning. You give quilts to combat vets. That is really awesome.” We all looked at each other and realized we were on the news all over San Diego – so much for a surprise.

After our tour of the ship, we went to the famous Cheesecake Factory for our lunch/dinner. Check out my Chinese chicken salad – I chased it all over the plate. We all got a different cheesecake to eat after the evening ceremony.

We arrived at the Embassy Suites at 5:30 pm so we could prep the quilts. Becky, Louie and Auntie Rosemary met us to help. It was their first big time to see us in action. They all jumped in and Louie was taking photos. Barb’s sister, Sharon, also helped and got to see what we really do. I often think no one realizes all the work it takes but when you see it firsthand, it often changes your respect for all the time spent. Thank you to the Bartole family of San Diego for arranging the room for the event and to Suzanne for the pictures and press connections – you would fit right in with our gang.

We started our ceremony at 7:00 pm. The Marines all thought it was a meeting they needed to attend not knowing they were to receive quilts. It began like a regular business meeting then they said we have special guests – Quilts of Honor – and showed our Video from our website and Facebook. I watched the room as they watched the video. There were tears flowing as I walked to the front of the room. When the video finished, the whole room stood up and started clapping. I was so embarrassed as it takes all of us to do this and my crew always has my back and works hard. I told them I was honored to meet them again. We had met in Mt. Vernon but we didn’t have enough quilts. I didn’t forget so tonight they would each receive a quilt.

The quilts had been hidden in the back of the room and covered with sheets so they didn’t have any idea what was about to happen. Quite a few Marines had their wives with them so there were about 150 people in the room. Right before we started, Fox News came in for an interview so it got pretty nervous in that room.

We called 5 veterans up at a time, shaking each one’s hand, and then had them unfold their quilts. I got enough kisses to last for a lifetime. When we finished, all the crew came up front and they presented us with a check for $1,000. Then some of the guys kissed the crew so they weren’t left out – that was pretty cute. When we walked back through the room, they were shaking our hands and hugging us. Many still had tears. This group all saw combat in Vietnam so they understood what we were doing. One said, “I accept this quilt for the one corpsman and 5 Marines who didn’t make it home.” You could have heard a pin drop after he spoke.

I know we all worked hard to finish these 75 quilts, but you honored these Vietnam veterans who had never been thanked. Many in this unit had Purple Hearts and many had gotten cancer from Agent Orange. They were from all over the United States so I would say we completed our mission in a style that won’t be forgotten by these quilt recipients or us – each one tears at your heart.

We had a few days off which was great, but by ending the night giving quilts made it all worth it. Thank you to my crew here and at home who kept us going. God bless you.

Stay tuned as the next few days we have events in Livermore, Oakdale, and Concord and also in Wisconsin.

God bless,


Count Down to Veterans Week

We started our day heading to Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial. Barb’s sister joined us today as she lives close and she had never been to the Memorial either. Linda and Phil Thompson had told us about the Memorial and I have to say this is the best kept secret for California. It is one of the most beautiful memorials I have ever seen – the cross, the views of the San Diego area, and the walls of plaques of veterans. We all had to get our pictures taken with the services we love.

We had all gone in different directions to check out the Memorial and I immediately noticed a veteran sitting on the top step. I went up and sat next to him. We started talking and it wasn’t long before I found out he was retired Navy and comes to the Memorial at least twice a week to clean the granite. Well, I headed off to find Barb and she had already figured I was going to give him a quilt. We gathered everybody and headed up the steps and I presented him with a quilt. He truly looked shocked. We asked him his name to put on the label and asked him if he would like to open it. He said, no that’s ok and off he went to his car. I thought, wow, that was different and went about looking around when I heard a deep voice say, “hey veteran; you want to see my plaque?” It was him. We got the girls and off we went to see his plaque. By now we knew his name was Bob. We started reading his plaque – he has three silver stars. I looked at him and said, “Wow Bob, three silver stars – that’s awesome.” He shyly said, “I got them on patrol.” Now that is an honorable man. Next thing we know he is gone again – back up to the top of the Memorial so I went back up there and sat next to him. He told many stories of all the veterans on the wall and where their plaques were and then he said to me, “it’s a nice thing you do.” I often say God has given me a gift to know when to give and today was truly one of those days.

We left the Memorial and headed to the Bates Nut Farm for their arts and crafts fair. It was quite a ride but more of California we have never seen. It was a pretty cool place. The store had every nut and dried fruit and tons of candy. We walked through the crafts until we were wore out and decided to head back so we could see Old Town. Oh, they didn’t keep us at the nut farm.

We got to Old Town just in time to have dinner – homemade tortillas made right next to our table and boy was that town busy. Mexican food everywhere and all busy. You know we had to window shop until we darn near dropped but the night wasn’t complete until we had ice cream.

What can I say about today. It was pretty darn awesome. We met a hero and saw great things. Tomorrow we will go to the USS Midway, rest, and then give quilts out tomorrow night. We have recruited Barb’s sister to help. We are also meeting Becky and Rosemary for the ceremony, so stay tuned……….

God Bless,

We headed to the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado. I had often wanted to see it and Flo and Debbie had never seen it so off we went with Barb driving us in the Lincoln. Nancy, a high school friend of mines lives there with her husband, retired Army, so we met up. Only our QOH crew knew we were going to award him a quilt. When we arrived, I had wrapped the quilt in my sweatshirt and sat on it so they had no idea we had a quilt. We visited for quite a while and then Dennis got up and that was the moment. I got up pulled out the quilt and presented it to Dennis. He thanked us all, hugged each one of us as he wiped tears from his eyes. Nancy told me she was proud of what we are doing and that we didn’t have to do this. My reply – It is our honor. I teased Dennis about not letting Nancy take over his quilt. It never gets old honoring our heroes.

Then we headed for the beach and I could hardly wait to get my shoes and socks off and get on that beach. On our way out we met the Sandcastle Man – he is famous for sandcastles – just look at the picture. We looked for shells for Flo and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. The hotel is really beautiful and amazing. Their Starbucks are $2.00 more for the same thing in town. It is really beautiful but you would need a big bucket full of money to stay there.

We left the island and headed to Seaport Village where there are many stores and I don’t think Flo missed one. Right before we left, here comes a mother duck with 6 little ducklings and she is heading to the parking lot with the babies. Now you know I wasn’t going for that so I’m out there herding ducks – just can’t take country out of the city.

We headed back to our hotel and tried to find us something to eat. We ended up at the Lazy Dog. What a place – dog pictures and you could eat with your dog on the patio. Turned out the food was great. The girls had me put a picture of me on the rocks at the beach showing I do take days off.

We had put our QOH signs on Barb’s car and we sure have gotten the looks. While riding through town we came upon the building with a beautiful mural and had to get a picture – great meaning in that picture.

Thankful for our day and that we were able to honor another veteran. Stay tuned…………..

God bless,

Play Day

It was nice to have a day off and play tourist. We decided to go to the San Diego Zoo. My, what a place. It is huge – so many plants it looked like a jungle everywhere we went instead of in the middle of the city. There were so many neat animals. We walked over 5 miles. Boy, were we glad to get back to the car. We must have made 5 u-turns trying to figure out where we were going. I think we passed the treetop three times, not that we wanted to. I bet we all sleep tonight and I hope we can all walk tomorrow.

I did get to go to the San Diego Champions Hall of Fame to see my good friend Pete’s picture and plaque. I know Margaret would be proud that I took the time.

We ran into two women from Canada standing in line at the Zoo and they knew about Quilts of Honor. That made us proud.

Weather has been cool but beautiful.  Can’t wait for tomorrow – we are going to the beach. Stay tuned……..

God bless,

QOH on a Mission to San Diego

Well, here we go again on another mission to honor our veterans. We have had a crazy last two weeks preparing for this trip. First, trying to get so many quilts ready as we head into the busiest time of the year for us – I call it Veterans Month. Everyone asks for quilts because this seems to be the only time they remember our veterans. We had great help at the shop and many volunteers took quilts home to bind. Everyone stepped up to the plate. That is what I love about our volunteers for Quilts of Honor – they always give with their heart.

For those of you who live around San Joaquin County, the San Joaquin Magazine published two great articles on Quilts of Honor. One is about our QOH Board member, Flo. It tells her and Johnny’s story with beautiful pictures. There is also one about QOH and me. Two good friends and supporters, Andy Prokop and Tino Adame, are also in the articles. Thanks to Linsey for writing them.

Today was different for me – Barb drove and I was Miss Daisy as Debbie called me. Pretty tough for me to sit in the passenger seat, but I survived. We rode in a 2015 Lincoln Navigator that talks to you, seats are automatic, and the running boards slide out when the door opens. We were riding in style. We had a good drive – made it in 8 hours with three stops. Our biggest road stop was at Sun-Maid Raisins. Of course we had to take pictures and try all the goodies in the market place and yes, we came out with a bag. We can’t unpack the car as there are 8 duffle bags full of quilts in the back so I guess they will tour San Diego. Tomorrow we will play tourist. That will be fun – we will keep you posted.

God bless, and stayed tuned…….



October and Still Rolling

Boy, don’t think we have taken a breath since we hit the ground after returning from San Antonio, Texas. We had such a great response to what we do by the veterans of the USS Blue – it will be one for the memory books.

Hope you all enjoyed our first Newsletter. It was truly awesome and can’t wait for the next one.

I had the honor of speaking with the Rotary Club in Murphys, CA where we awarded 6 quilts. Each veteran was totally surprised – you could see the emotion in their faces. Our first one was 98 years old and he could run circles around us – that was amazing. One veteran came up to me afterwards with tears in his eyes and said, “I don’t deserve this.” I told him that he did and do not ever think that. We hear that so often but the way we surprise them and honor them makes it so special.

I had a couple days of rest and off to the Navy Ball in Stockton, CA. Thank you to Maria and Bob for inviting us. I was their program speaker and we also awarded 4 quilts. They were all decked out in their Navy uniforms and fancy dresses and you know I wasn’t going there. We had a great meal and then I got up to speak. I never know what I’m going to say but I get through it by the grace of God. We gave out 4 quilts and everyone was amazed. We had the Navy quilt on display and they took turns standing in front of it and taking pictures of themselves in their best dress. When Flo and I took it down, one guy runs over and says, “Wait, I want my picture,” so Flo and I held it up. What we do to make a veteran happy.

We are now preparing for San Diego and Veterans Day. I know our groups are also busy with events. We will have almost 100 quilts out by December. Our Abigail, our computerized Longarm, is really getting a workout and me too running her – we miss Delphia.

As we all prepare for Veterans Day, remember how much it means to so many who receive these quilts. As always, thank you for your continued support.

God Bless,



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