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Quilts of Valor

If your looking to read something witty or a great adventure....just stop now. Today's writing is much more somber.

My day was filled with emotions. Today, was one of many days that we are sending injured soldiers home to the States. The difference is that today, I was a part of it (if only as an observer for most of it). I've followed nurses on the floor for the past several days and interacted with several of the patients on my floor. Today, two of them got to go home. From a nursing standpoint, there is a lot of work that goes into getting these soldiers home. Everything has to be planned and orchestrated just right in order for a soldier to keep his/her place on the flight. Just one mistake and they can't go....imagine how disappointing that would be.

Just before we wheeled the patients to the holding area, they were presented a Quilt of Valor. It's pretty simple, really. Just a small quilt, just large enough to cover. It's the story behind the quilts and the look on the soldiers face when presented it that is really important. The story that was told to me is that a mother made a quilt and sent it to her son and all his buddies liked it and wanted one. From there, the organization Quilts of Valor was born. The quilts are all made with love and each one has a note to the soldier on the back, including and who it came from.. It all seemed kinda cheeky to me until we presented one and the nurse told the soldier 'it's like a hug from home' . The look of appreciation and homesickness on the soldiers face was indescribable...

After all the paperwork and prep; I followed one of our patients to the holding area where they would board a bus that would take them to the plane. Some of these soldiers will have a very long trip in front of them. They start the day early; having to be in the holding area by 0830. The more critical patients (ICU) are transported at 1100. From the holding are, they are loaded onto buses that will carry them to another holding area at the airport. The flight doesn't actually leave until early afternoon. Then the soldiers are in-flight for 9 hrs with many of them catching another flight in the states to continue the trip home.

It's frustrating how removed we are in the states from what is happening here. These men and women are flying in daily with a myriad of injuries: gunshot wounds, blast wounds, some with minor injuries and some with injuries and amputations that will follow them for the rest of their lives. Some of the wounds are deeper....unseen....emotional, that will haunt them forever. I feel ashamed that over the past several years I haven't given these men and women much thought at all.....

I'll just leave you with one thought: No matter how you feel about what is going on with the War, if you happen to run across a soldier....PLEASE...acknowledge them....thank them...or at least smile to them. Their sacrifices are many.

Posted by Khandilee 01:27 Archived in Germany Tagged business_travel

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How honored I am to be a maker of Quilts of Valor. I realized how blessed we are when I read what our young men and women go through to allow me to be free to do what I want, shop where I do and make a small quilt of comfort for them. Thank you!

by Carol of Titusville, FL

Dear Candy,
I spoke with a vet yesterday who expressed to me how important it is that they and all military personnel get benefits. We were commiserating about the rotten economy and saying how much we hope the new year brings a much-needed turn-around. He said, as you point out, that his worst wounds are invisible. I told him that I appreciate him and all the military personnel who risk their lives everyday for the cause of freedom. I remember well my assignments at the New England and Northern AZ V.A. hospitals and still remember them in my prayers. Between the veterans and the homeless, my heart breaks for them when I consider the day-to-day challenges they face. Thank you again for reminding me of the sacrifices made for us back home by military personnel and civilians abroad, including yourself!

by Pam

Carol...thank you for posting! And thank you for taking your time to make these wonderful quilts for our soldiers! Know that their lives are truly touched by them!

by Khandilee

I too make Quilts of Valor, and I am also a nurse. No matter how you feel about the war, as Catherine Roberts the founder of QOV says, "Its not about politics". It is a way for me and the many others who make Quilts of Valor, to give back in some small way, to those men and women who, so bravely, defend our country.
Thank you too Khandilee, for all you are doing to get these men and women back to the families who love them.

by Casey

It's wonderful to hear from those of you (Carol and Casey) that put the heart behind the quilts! Keep up the great work and know that it's appreciated. If only you could see their faces....

by Khandilee

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