Friday, May 04, 2007

2007 Delivery of the Quilts of Valor

On May 2nd, 6 children, one teacher, the superintendent and myself headed to Fort Carson to deliver 18 quilts of Valor. I can’t begin to tell you the impact of working on this project on myself and on the children.


We arrived in a middle of rain to meet the Chaplain at the gate. After passing security we traveled over to the hospital. The kids were a little nervous, and in awe of all the uniformed men and women walking around. We entered into the chapel – each kid had a quilt to present to the chaplain. The chaplain did a wonderful program, explaining to all that attended what Quilts of Valor was, and how these quilts have made such a difference in the soldiers lives. The last year the protocol of evacuation was changed so Evans Army Hospital met a lot more soldiers without quilts than in the previous year. In 2006 Chaplain C. gave out 52 quilts. He said that each time he presented a quilt to a soldier that the soldier was always tough, yet humbled that others had thought of him, and were praying for his recovery. By the time the chaplain would leave the room the soldier usually had tears in his eyes.

The children then presented the quilts to the chaplain. This involved removing the photo album and setting in on the table, pulling the quilt out of the pillowcase, and unfurling it. There were many officers, doctors and soldiers in the chapel watching. As each quilt was unfurled there were many ohhs and ahhs – but the best of all was the Huwa’s . I have no idea how to spell that – but it is there call, and to know that our quilts received that honor touched me deeply.

Colonel R. honored each of the children with a medal of excellence and personally thanked them for the work that they did on these quilts.

After our presentation ceremony, Chaplain C. took us up to a Sergeants room. Sgt. B. was a sniper. His Hummvee had been hit by an IED and he was thrown from the front to the back of the vehicle. He said he hurt, but he had a job to do, and so he did it. It wasn’t until some time later that he lost complete feeling in one of his legs and had other symptoms. He headed to a medic and they discovered that in the explosion he had ruptured two of his discs in his lower back and that they had completely disintegrated. He has been through many surgeries and rehab. He is in a lot of pain and faces 2 to 3 more surgeries.

Sgt. B. invited us all into his room, and we gave him a quilt. He pulled the photo album out and had all of us sign it right there for us. He told us where he was from, and our superintendent had been born in the same town…small world. Sgt. B. talked to all of the kids and discussed their hobbies – for a man in so much pain he sure was kind and considerate of others. He made the kids feel so comfortable being in his room, and he was really interested in them. Sgt. B. was part of 82nd airborne, and now has a great Red White and Blue quilt to cover him as he rehabilitates. He also has my unending prayers for a swift recovery and lots of protection.
The picture is of the kids and thier teacher, along with Chaplain C.

It tears at my heart to see someone hurt and injured, it tears at my heart to know that they are injured far away from family, friends and the comforts of home. It tears at my heart to see the bravery and strength that these soldiers possess. It tears me up that all we can give them is a quilt – but that quilt becomes a huge hug from those of us who care, and as Chaplain C. says – we need to continue to care – and Care with Honor!
If you are interested in making a quilt or more information about Quilts of Valor you can go to http://www.qovf.org

8 comments:

swooze said...

I am crying! I am at work! Going to lunch now!!!

paula, the quilter said...

O, Alycia, how wonderful! I need to get the label on my QOV and then fill in the form. Thanks for the nudge.

JoAnna said...

Thank you Alycia for your efforts. You have taught these children something they will never forget. I have been putting this project off for some time now as I could always find another half-finished project that needed completion. You have convinced me. This is much more important than anything else that I have pending.

Rhonda said...

What a wonderful story and what beautiful quilts. Excellent job!

Mary said...

How wonderful to read about these kids and their QOV quilts. I know it must take a lot of time and effort on your part but you must have felt very proud. Good job!

Jeanne said...

What a wonderful post! Keep up the great work.

Judy said...

Alycia, as always, you are an inspiration. Your post brought tears to my eyes and you've raised some very valid points/questions. You know how I feel about what you are doing and teaching. What a wonderful, wonderful thing to do!

Greenmare said...

Wonderful Alycia! Our guild has a long arm quilter who started doing these, and some of us have decided to join her. You are teaching such a wonderful thing to these kids. Blessing on you and the kids~