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.