Feeds:
Posts
Comments

We finally made it to DC at 2:00 am Tuesday morning and my interview was at 10:00 am.  Needless to say, a great day but I’m pretty worn out.  I will tell you more tomorrow.

Flo and I did get some great shots of quilts that we will post tomorrow.

Oh, I did get Flo coffee so she had a much better day.

Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . .

God’s Blessings

Gail

Holy Cow!  For our first trip since COVID you know we would have adventures.  We started at 2:30am California time, got to the Airport in good time.  Found out we had to fill our special papers on Rue and the Attendant first had to go find the forms.  That took what seemed like a life time but we got them filled out and Rue was ok.  We then had PSE check in so we got in that line ‘and they wouldn’t let Flo go through, we would have to go through the regular line.  Oh Lordy!  Rue and I got searched which took forever.  We are going to fix that before July.

Next stop, Chicago.  There were tons of people and no place to sit at the gate.  We walked to 10 more gates to find chairs.  Here’s the worst part – Flo hadn’t had her coffee all day and all we could find was Dunkin’ Donuts and no good coffee.  Those of us who know Flo knows you don’t keep her away from her coffee – it ain’t good.

We finally get to our gate for boarding after three times.  Then they announce boarding so we all get in line and then they say 20 more minutes.  So we and the ladies we had made friends with all go to the wall.  They were young and sat on the floor.  Flo and I had our butts on the wall heaters.  We did this at least 3 times – false alarms.  As you can see in the pictures, Rue had made friends and was taking it all in.  The two families we met, one was husband in the Army stationed at Ft. Belvoir so you know we enjoyed them.  The other family, Rue’s best friends, were from Sacramento and was a nurse showing her two girls DC.  If you take a dog like Rue you will always have friends.  One lade stopped me and asked where did your dog serve in the Army.  She was an Army brat and had married a pilot.  We just seem to find them and Rue has been the best.

We were delayed by the weather they had a traffic jam in the skies plus I think our eyes are killing us.  Finally at 6 something they came out and tell us we can board and the crowd went wild yelling so back in line we all go.  I decided to go to the restroom so Flo took Rue.  She has been such a trooper and there was a lady with a Yorkie so Rue walks up to her and the Yorkie bit her nose.  When I come back I see blood on her nose and asked Flo what happened.  She tells me and I said see the blood?  Flo said I had better not tell people it was a yorkie but a big dog.

I found out that the other family that is stationed at Ft. Belvoir the wife was also a veteran and I asked her why she hadn’t said something.  I gave her my card and hope that she comes to the Memorial.

So, they cancelled our other flight and booked us on a flight that gets into DC at 11:55pm.  Boy, what a day.  We got up at 2am and right not we have an hour to go to board our last leg.  I did forget to tell you through all of this we had screaming kids crying because they couldn’t get on the plane.  So, if I had any patience, it is gone today.  I know tomorrow will be a better day as I will find coffee for Flo.

God’s blessings,
Gail

(PS: Text at 7:22pm – On the Plane)

We Are Still Here

I can’t believe it is already mid-June 2021.  Where did the time go?  It felt like COVID would never end.

I am so glad to see Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin awarding quilts again.  Our Chapters have not forgotten their veterans.  What a blessing.  So many nonprofits have had such a hard time but our quilters are one of a kind, just like their quilts and the passion for our cause never waivers. Quilts of Honor is blessed to have each volunteer.

Here at Headquarters our volunteers have just kept piecing tops and so many have kept us going.  We still manage to mail quilts weekly all across the United States.

Now that things are opening up, we have partnered with “Uniting Us”, a nonprofit that works with veterans’ Art.  They asked us if we would like to display some of our quilts made by veterans or family members so 8 (eight) Quilts of Honor are now on display at the Women’s Military Memorial at Arlington.  There are over 170 items on display, many by veterans.  If you get a chance and are in the DC area, please try to see the show.  It is the first of its kind.  Word has it our quilts are a big hit.  We will be awarding our quilts that are on display to female veterans when the show ends.

Our first trip to DC this year will be to the Women’s Memorial where I will get to see the quilts on display – excited for this.  I have also been asked by the Museum if I would like to be interviewed for “Her Story,” a video program telling a female veterans story.  So June 21st will be the first trip of maybe 4 this year for different events for Quilts of Honor.  I can’t tell all yet as it could spoil the surprise but it will be fun and rewarding.

We will be blogging so please have your Chapter and friends sign up for our Blog and Facebook to be a part of Headquarters and all that Quilts of Honor does (https://quiltsofhonor.wordpress.com).  Below you will see the Quilts being displayed at the Women’s Memorial.

Stay tuned for more of our adventures.

God’s Blessings to all – stay safe and well.

Gail

So often we are asked, can you award a quilt for so many different reasons.  We have qualifications and we have done that because we just can’t keep up with the demand.  When we started Quilts of Honor it was always important that we reach our Wounded with PTSD as it is silent in so many.  If our quilts can bring them peace and healing and we are reaching them especially during COVID, we have done good.

The telephone rings one night and it is a LTC (Colonel) from the California National Guard.  She tells me that she had received a Quilt of Valor years ago and it meant a lot to her.  Then she said that she was working with the LA Coroner’s Office and troops have been deployed there and are in charge of carrying the bodies that have passed from COVID.  It has been overwhelming in the L.A. area of California and these troops are regular civilians and this isn’t anything they would be use to or trained for.  She said she had 22 guardsman and needed another 25.  I said, “Ma’am, you came to the right place.  I totally understand.  I am a bugler from the Vietnam era and there are many things I’ve never forgotten after 50 years.  I applaud you for thinking about your troops.”  So with the help of many, we got 22 quilts ready and 1LT Han was sent to pick up the quilts.  We gave 1LT Han our 5-cent tour all the while he was videoing us.  I even demonstrated how to award the quilt.  Right before the Lieutenant left we awarded him his quilt.  He was so thankful.  He explained to us how the Guard is now having to go out for fires, riots, and now bodies, so there are many kinds of Hero’s and I am so thankful we got to make them feel better

Here are a few of the LTC words after the troops received their quilts:  Absolutely incredible; we seriously cried; they are beautiful; the stitching is amazing; we can’t begin to thank you; it is an amazing morale booster.  Some of our troops have problems with the hotel’s having white sheets because the hospitals wrap the deceased in white sheets.  Now they have a quilt to put on the white bedcover.  It’s incredible and we are gob smacked amazing; humbling.  Thank you, LTC Farnham

Ladies and Gents, this is why we do it.  Be proud you all had a hand in helping these troops.  LTC has asked for an additional 30 quilts which we will provide in the next couple of weeks.

So, it’s been a busy, exciting January 2021.  We also are thankful to have gotten our first COVID shot.  Hard to believe we get excited about shots but lord we hope this gets our lives back to somewhat normal.

God’s blessings
Gail

QOH Inspiration

Have you ever wondered about the background of some of our volunteers?  Today I will tell you about a volunteer from our San Antonio Texas Chapter.

Bonnie is 91 years young.  I had the honor of meeting Bonnie 5 years ago and she was producing about 20 quilt tops a week.  I remember Debbie, the Chapter Leader, saying she couldn’t keep up with Bonnie.  Bonnie, through the years, has had a couple of falls, broke a wrist and hip, had a pacemaker put in, is blind in one eye, and has limited vision in the other.  Do you think all this has stopped Bonnie?  No way!  She still does 2-3 tops a week.  What an inspiration and dedication to Quilts of Honor and what a gift to have Bonnie as one of our volunteers.

It sometimes amazes me the dedication our volunteers have and it makes me so proud.

Hope you enjoyed this story.  If you know a volunteer you would like to tell us about, drop us an email.

THANK YOU MISS BONNIE!

God’s Blessings
Gail

We ended our year on a good note with much help on December 30th with volunteers coming to the Shop to work and volunteers turning in their tops.  You will find pretty quilt tops that were turned in during our last week.  We had a good group, Ginny, Carol, Lynne, Sue and Flo.  Ginny surprised us with a “crum a cockas” – go ahead and try to say it.  They are Swedish.  I called them cocka doodles cuz I couldn’t remember how to say them but they sure were good.  We all got a kick out of pronouncing them.  We do have a laugh now and then at the shop.

Even though this year was trying for all of us, we concurred with whatever we needed to do.  When the Old Guard at Arlington needed masks Flo, Carol and Cathy stepped up and got 130 masks made and out in a week so that they would arrive before Christmas.  Little things like this is what makes Quilts of Honor special.  We try to do our best no matter what it is.

This year we sent out what we call our Non-Event Fundraiser to many of our donors as COVID has made fundraising near impossible.  I’m blessed to report that we received numerous blessings and it showed how many believe in what we do.

In all this COVID we managed to mail close to 400 Quilts to veterans and make and donate 1,000’s of masks.  I don’t know how all of you feel but QOH has made life good through this COVID.  I am thankful that I could still do what is important – honoring our veterans.

We ended our year on the 31st with a Board meeting via Zoom.  Rita accomplished this fete as we are not the best “techy” people – we are quilters.  The Quilt tops that were turned in this year were really great.  The ladies and gents put in extra work and it shows.  So thankful to have such talented quilters.  Thank you all for making them this year.

As I close I want you all to know that I pray for each one of you to stay healthy and that someday we will meet again.

God’s Blessings and may 2021 be better for all.

Gail

The Gift of Christmas can be seen in so many different ways.  Christmas lights have always been my thing.  I remember as a child we would always go for a ride on Christmas Eve to see the lights then we would come home and Santa had come.  We always had a big Christmas Eve with 4 parents and 7 kids, it was never dull.  Guess it is so often these childhood memories made up what we do today in our lives and how we carry on our traditions.

This year has been a trying one for all of us especially not having our family and friends close.  One thing I have learned is that every moment is special and life is short.  Make the most out of each moment God gives us.

This year has been much like when you are a soldier in a fox hole wondering when will you get out and get out safely and alive.  We have all learned to do things differently to survive.

Quilts of Honor still brings joy to each veteran we have managed to award quilts to this year.  Our Presentations have been smaller and we have mailed over 200 Quilts out of Headquarters.  We are surviving and I always say we bring the joy of Christmas all year by giving.  I’m so proud of the Chapters that have made masks and kept on quilting through all this.  It shows what a heart Quilts of Honor has wherever we reside.

Know that we miss each one of you and we pray for the day we can all quilt together.  Sending blessings to all your families.  May you all stay safe and that 2021 will be better for all of us.

Also, say an extra prayer for the veterans that are having such a hard time in this isolation.  It will mean a lot.

Happy Holidays,
Gail

Thankful is a hard word to use this year and especially with COVID increasing everywhere.  I know many of us will have small celebrations as that is the safest and we will be missing our families that can’t come because of COVID.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are without family and those who are fighting this terrible virus.

Thankful, yes, that I have Quilts of Honor and our Quilts of Honor Family and the many Chapters throughout the U.S.

Thankful that, through all of this, we have still found ways to honor our veterans.

Thankful I can think of family and friends and know they are near in my heart even though we can’t be together.

Even in life it is hard at times to find things to be Thankful for.  It may be the smallest of things that makes your heart heal.  May we all look to a better Thanksgiving in times to come.

God’s Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,
Gail

Veterans Day 2020

Today was another different day for QOH and COVID and we did have a happy day.  I belong to the organization Taps for Veterans.  They help find buglers for live Taps at funerals and different military functions.  Their event this year was to sound taps at 11:00 on the 11th all around the United States.  I asked my veteran brother, Lou, to help me plan and the next thing I knew we had an American Legion 102 Honor Guard and it was advertised in the Valley Springs News.

Since it was Veterans Day, we couldn’t go without awarding some Quilts of Honor.  We surprised all three Navy recipients.  Our first was Dave, our Honor Guard Commander, a Navy pilot.  First thing he said was that he wished his wife was here.  The next two Navy veterans were married to each other, both now retired.  The wife said we could have given one per family and I told her it is one per veteran and she was a veteran and she replied, “Yes Ma’am.”  Made me laugh. 

We were all outside on a sunny and crisp day with our masks and thankful to be together.  Lou had all the veterans come forward and tell a little about themselves.  The hardest part of the day was Flo trying to video Taps but she actually accomplished her mission which you will hear at the end of this blog.

Taps is for all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.  May we never forget the price of freedom.

To all our QOH Chapters out there, please stay well and keep on stitchin. 

Until next time . . . . . . .
God’s Blessings,
Gail

Loss Always Hurts

Today we received the sad news that we lost one of our QOH volunteers from the Antioch CA group, Mary Branscum. She was such a great supporter of QOH. I remember she met us in San Francisco for our first Honor Flight. I remember her smile and how happy she was to be a part of Quilts of Honor. I know Nancy, Susan, and all the gang will miss her. Blessings and prayers to her family. Our hearts weep as we lose those who have become part of the QOH family.

Please stay safe out there as these COVID numbers keep going up – We need all of you! We won’t be having Workshop until maybe Fall. It all depends on this mess. We do welcome visitors at the shop but we ask that you call first. Following California requirements, we encourage you to wear masks. We feel it is an individual choice. We can keep our 6ft social distance. We also ask that you not wear perfume as we have many that have allergies that can cause problems.

We gave out a Quilt this past week to a 10 year Army Veteran from the OIF era. Robert was such a fresh face to the shop. He was thrilled with his quilt and what we do. My sister, Diana, used to work with him. She tricked him to come to the shop and after he got his quilt, he took all kinds of pictures to show his 86 year old grandmother who he is taking care of during COVID. Now that is a good veteran. Joyce, Flo, Carol, Laurie, and Mom and Dad all said what a gift to give to that young man. We all said we felt so good to be a little normal.

To all our Chapters out there – be safe – we need you all. We enjoy seeing your quilts that you present.

God’s Blessings,
Gail