"Scrappy Bargello" ~ Quilt Of Valor
Right now, I'm working on longarm quilting a QOV. What is a QOV, you may ask?
QUILT OF VALOR
A Quilt of Valor is a quilt made for a Wounded Warrior...a service man or woman that has been at war, wounded, and brought back to the U.S. to recover.
First, let me say that this wonderful foundation was started by Catherine, a quilter that wanted to do something special, years ago when the current wars began. You can read all about it on the QOV website:
There you will be able to read a lot more information than I can probably tell you. All I know is, it's something that has really touched me.
The first quilts I sent were made by me and a group of quilting friends. I was directed from the QOV website to send them to BAMC (Brooks Army Medical Center) in San Antonio.
There was a Red Cross Volunteer, Suzanne, that received the quilts and delivered them.
(By the way....Suzanne, and others like her, are angels.)
My Dad lived in San Antonio....so the next time I visited him, I contacted Suzanne and asked if it would be possible to visit BAMC, and deliver a few quilts personally. We got the OK. So me, my daughter, and my sister, met Suzanne, and had one of my most memorable afternoons in my life.
Suzanne explained that everyone called the patients "Wounded Warriors". She gave us a tour of the areas of the hospital she was allowed to. You see, BAMC is mainly for burn and amputee victims. And many of the warriors have both. So we weren't allowed into most of the units.
She first introduced us to a young sergeant, who was wheeling around in a wheelchair, and was getting ready to be released. His wounds weren't visible, which I was thankful for. He was a little shy, but seemed happy to receive the small lap quilt I presented to him. I hugged him and told him how much I appreciated his service.
Our next stop wasn't as easy....
Suzanne took us to a room where a very young man was napping in bed. His family were all in the hall. This young man had just arrived the day before, and had already had a surgery. He had turned 21 years old on his flight back to the United States, and...he had just had one of his legs amputated....
I decided to present the quilt to his Mom to give to him, and was in the middle of trying to do that through my tears, when the nurse came out to say the young soldier was awake, and invited us in.
We took a deep breath, and went in.
It was so much easier to talk with him than I thought it would be. He was up-beat, and forth coming. In fact, his concern was for his buddies still in Iraq....he wanted to know when he was going to be able to go back!
I handed him his small quilt....the house quilt pictured above...and tried to express how much I, and so many other people, appreciated his service and sacrifice. I gave him a hug, and hugged his Mom on the way out.
I'm a Mom of a sailor, who is thankfully out of harms way. But believe me...the families of the service men and women sacrifice a lot, too. So they also deserve your thoughts.
I hope this story may inspire even one of you to make a quilt for one of these deserving heroes.
Oh, by the way...whenever I tell this story, I feel like I'm right back in that room with the young Warrior, and my tears start to flow.