Thursday, April 07, 2016

A Quilt of Valor for Rosemary!

Meet Rosemary Daws from Texas, shown here wrapped in a Quilt of Valor and Love!

Sometimes the most unexpected things unfold when we attend events like this.

I have always believed that quilting is much more than fabric, thread, machines and patterns.  The best part of quilting is our relationships with others.

The story goes that Pepper Cory (shown here with Rosemary) was talking about quilts along with some of her own family history, and mentioned the military service of her father.

And then in a small voice someone (aka. Rosemary!) pipes up and says “I am a Vietnam Veteran”.

Before we knew it, Pepper had grabbed Kaye England, who is our backbone and facilitator at this event, and Kaye says that she will take care of it!

She calls up Rita Pennington, who is the Land of Lincoln coordinator for Quilts of Valor here in Illinois, and she arranges an impromptu Quilt of Valor “wrapping” as a surprise for Rosemary (And all who were not in the KNOW that this was going to happen) at our silent auction event last night which is raising money for breast cancer research.

Good things happen when we gather together to quilt with one another!


Rosemary being presented!


Isn’t this priceless?

And yes, I caught more, but you might have to turn the volume up to hear Rosemary explain what her role as an army nurse was during this time in her life.

The one thing that struck my heart was how she said “For 40 years I haven’t talked about this because no one wanted to hear about Vietnam.”

I can’t imagine carrying that around for 40 years.  Bless you, Rosemary!  Thank you for letting us in on your history, and thank you so very much for your service.

Here is my video, you may get a giggle out of Pam Holland’s head as she walked right in front of me while I was filming to take her own photos. LOL!

Rosemary was the nurse who answered the phone call during Hamburger Hill, and they told her there would be 300 casualties coming in, and she was in a mobile unit that only had 60 beds.  Can you imagine?

Next time you are in a group of women and men like this –remember, we know not what their past has been like.  We don’t know what they’ve been through, or how their service has had an impact on the freedoms we hold so dear, or even take greatly for granted today.

Thank a veteran!

And consider making a Quilt of Valor.  These quilts are needed and given and wrapped around our veterans every day.


Cocoon  Staff and the Land of Lincoln Quilt of Valor gals!

Thank you for heeding the call and coming on the spur of the moment!

My 3 days of workshops are over, and today I am the one giving the lunch lecture.  It’s a tough act to follow, I tell you!


Pam’s power point presentation was amazing!


So thoughtful, and inspirational, sharing her journey!


If you have a chance to hear her speak, DO IT!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage fan quilt found in Michigan.

At the end of Pam’s presentation she had this quote that I just HAD to go look up.  It’s by Austin Kleon.  Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started!  Is that powerful or what?

You don't need to have it all figured out to start making progress towards where you want to be. If we wait until we are ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives!

Have a terrific Thursday, everyone!

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  1. Best story yet! Brought a few tears. Sounds like the cocoon platform is a great idea for everyone!

  2. Anonymous9:56 AM EDT

    Very touching! So glad they were able to pull it off and wrap Rosemary in a quilt. Thank you, Rosemary for your service!

  3. What a great surprise event! Your post brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations, Rosemary and thank you for your service.

  4. What a wonderful thing! I'm looking forward to watching the video... Seems to be bad weather here with winds in w. N.c.

    My husband was born in 1943. He passed away 3 years ago at the age of 70. He never talked about Vietnam. He never got any benefits and we were both small business self insured. Finally, about 2 years before he died or less, a friend insisted he go sign up for the va health clinic. Well, as self insured where it was costing a fortune for us to just get major medical and out of pocket prescriptions were about $1,000/mo.... Let me tell you! If he'd signed up earlier there is no telling what he would have saved In medical! And! The best care ever! He loved his primary doctor and insisted I make him a quilt as a thank you for his care, which i did.

    Now, you must be wondering why I'm telling you this...

    Well, they sent him for testing for agent orange, his ship was not yet on the list, about a year before he died. Never herpard anything, never. A friend suggested he sign up for monthly benefits, as he'd been disabled for about five years or so thru s.s. And had never ever applied for any va benefits in his life, not even a va loan or anything! He went and sat all day... At end of day, the person came out and said you'll have to come back next time... This went on two more times. It was very difficult to go sit all day and wait in a waiting room and I do mean all day! He never got to talk to anyone. He never got signed up for benefits. If he had...
    I'd be getting $3,000+\month! He, of course, would have for years, but it would have been transferable to me (as I'm told by the local va benefits rep here). As it stood, I was entitled to nothing. Nothing. His social security stopped immediately and I was getting nothing.

    Why am I telling you this? If you know a veteran who has not signed up, insist that they do. If not for themselves, pride!, then do it for their spouses. When I asked him why he hadn't, he said, "I was only there for three years Sandra" well,, three years is a long time on a ship in harms way.

    These Vets don't realize what a service they have performed! He said he was spat upon when he came home... They were people!!
    It wasn't his fault he had to go! Ignorance... Like so much of history.

    So, now his ship, after he died and probably due to all the testing (he went for an all day test and never heard anything!) for agent Orange is on the list. He never lived to see this.

    Veterans, they (our lovely government) are not going to come knocking on your door to sign you up. They are not going to tell you what you are entitled to. YOU have to go to them. DO IT!

    If this even reaches one veteran, it will be worthwhile.

  5. What an incredible and touching story!! Brought tears to my eyes! Thanks for sharing it!!

  6. We have a very active group of ladies from ou guild who make lots of quilts of valor. I am just finishing the binding on one which i will donate tonight at our meeting. So pleased to read about Rosemary, and that you were able to honor her with a quilt.

  7. Thank you for the great video! I have watched it several times and had tears in my eyes each time. What a wonderful story!
    Ellie Lively

  8. Saluting the service of a brave lady! BRAVO MADAM WARRIOR *****

    Aren't quilters wonderful? Tell a quilter something needs doing, and then stand back - get out of the way - and it is done!

    Such a terrific story, thank you Bonnie for sharing with us.

    You are correct! You NEVER EVER know a person's story --- sometimes even when you have known the person for years.


  9. It's so sad that those that served in Vietnam were treated so poorly by so many. They deserve to be honored and thanked for their service. Thanks to Rosemary and all the others like her.

  10. What a heartwarming event. Thank you Rosemary for your service. You represent the best in us. Nurses anbd quilters make things happen!

  11. So wonderful to see the presentation of a Quilt of Valor to Rosemary - she used to be in my guild - Bear Creek Quilt Guild in Keller, TX. I had no idea about her service - please thank her for me!

  12. Bonnie, that brought tears to my eyes. Thank you and thank you Rosemary! Imagine the death toll without those brave souls tending to war torn bodies. Brave in all the sorrow they had and have to deal with.

    My Father (Australian) was in Papua New Guinea during WW2 and never spoke about it until mid 1990's and then we had just a glimpse of what he had been through.

    What saved him was the day he was marching to a battle and was taken out to carry a wounded soldier back. When he arrived the doctor looked at him and ordered the staff to take care of Dad but my dear Father was more concerned about the other soldier. Dad had full blown malaria with a temp of 104. What saved Dad was at that horrific battle most of his company/friends died. He never forgot those he fought with. Dad also suffered with malaria three times during the war and was on medication for it until he passed away at nearly 87.

    Now a very dear friend lost her son, a lieutenant, just short of his 25th birthday.

    Without these brave men and women, what would life be like?

  13. I was on a cruise a month ago and Carnival does a tribute to veterans. There weren't many who showed up but the ones who did (and were Vietnam vets) shared the same kind of stories about how hard it was to come back to the treatment they were subjected to. A friend of mine JUST got off a cruise Sun. and she said there was a guy on their ship from the VA and he spoke up and said if anyone had had difficulty getting their benefits to come and talk to him. I thought that was very cool and hopefully some will benefit from that.

  14. Amazing story. We are so proud of the people that have fought and given their lives for our countries to be free. Pauline from Australia

  15. Bonnie, this post made my day! I shared it with my history-loving teenage daughter and we both marveled at the beauty and symbolism of the Quilt of Valor, her real-life story, our own patriotic pride, and of course, the incredible Quilt of Valor organization. What a delightful and meaningful post! Thank you for that.

    Looking for Spring in Lino Lakes, MN
    (Suzanne Shearon)

  16. Hi Bonnie. What a wonderful Quilting Cocoon moment!!! I have made a Quilt of Valor and the person receiving it loved the fact that someone thought of him and his service. This presentation brought tears to my eyes because so many from Vietnam have been forgotten. The Quilt of Valor Foundation is just one small way to say thank you to our Vets.

  17. Congrats to Rosemary. You are a hero to me. My husband tried to sign up for VA medical benefits and was denied because we made too much money. How is that for an answer. Our Vets are treated so shabbily. We have many Vets here that are homeless, and to me this in not acceptable. We are free due to our Veterans who have so courageously given for us including my husband. Bless all our Vets and their families. Bonnie, thanks for sharing this story. Rosemary is so deserving. This was so touching and wonderful that a quilt appeared for her. She will never forget this day ever. Great job all of you involved.

  18. What a touching story. Thank you to Rosemary for your service. It's so wonderful to see a veteran receive a Quilt of Valor, who actually understands all the love and caring that went into making a QOV. Our Auxiliary makes Quilts of Valor and presented 7 last Veteran's Day to Korean and Viet Nam Vets. In previous years, we "covered" all our WWII Vets. We have seen men reduced to tears when they received their quilts. We know how much this tribute means to them. If you have it in your heart to honor a Veteran, please donate a Quilt of Valor. If you don't have a local Vet to honor, go to the Quilt of Valor website. They take donations all the time. Thanks Bonnie for posting this great story. I'm looking forward to meeting you on Apr. 23 in Sioux City, Iowa. I can hardly wait. Pam Clark, President of Wink-Sparks Unit 303, Moville, Iowa.

  19. Thank you for your service, Rosemary!
    Bonnie your post tonight was so touching ~ an amazing story. I also thought that your daily quote was wonderful! I am so glad that I found your blog several years ago. In the beginning I read it because I quilt. Now your blog is more than just quilting to me. I interpret that you say in your blog that quilting is more than just fabric, needle & thread to you. Now "quilting" through following your blog is that way for me, also! Thank you so much for adding more dimension to my quilty world!!

  20. Joanne Smith1:45 AM EDT

    It is so important to be heard. I wish for her to have people listen to her stories of her time in Vietnam. Thank you for being there. What a sweet acknowledgement of her service.

  21. As I wipe the tears from my eyes, I want to thank Rosemary from the bottom of my heart for her service in Vietnam. I cannot imagine the things she saw and experienced there that she has carried in her heart and mind since that time. May God bless her for her service. A well deserved honor.

  22. Amost every day you post an amazing story, but Rosemary's tale is just awesome. God Bless Rosemary and Pepper, you and your quilting ladies for listening to her. You continually outdo yourself. You are the best, Bonnie, and I'm glad I've met you!

    Loretta McGInn

  23. What a wonderful tribute to one of our Vietnam Veterans! Please Thank Rosemary for her sacrifice and service for our country.


  24. I've never seen a presentation of a Quilt of Valor to a veteran....I have tears in my eyes. Thank you Rosemary for your service to our country. Beautiful and touching story.

  25. What a lovely story about Rosemary. I did not read all the comments, but I hope someone will read this one and reach out to Rosemary. I do not know if she is registered at the Women's Memorial in Arlington, VA, that honors all women who served in the armed services. If she is not, she should contact them to be registered and tell her story. The official name is Women in Military Service for America. She may contact the Registration Department at 703-533-1155, 800-222-2294 or via e-mail at regdept@womensmemorial.org. In fact, any woman who has served in the military should get registered and tell their story.

    I just attended an event to honor Brigadier General Wilma Vaught who spearheaded and tirelessly campaigned for this memorial and she would be delighted to hear that I got the word out about the Women's Memorial.

  26. So glad Rita and Suzy could present that quilt. We all sew together a few times a month, for QoV. Glad that Rosemary has her quilt, and knows that many of us really do appreciate her service in Vietnam. Thanks Rosemary!!!!!

  27. Thanks for posting the video.

    Tears flowed as I watched.

    What an amazing group of woman in the class.

    Thanks Rosemary for your service.

  28. I am not an American I am a Nurse THANK YOU For All You Gave And Did!!!! Rosemary. Thank You

  29. Amazing post brought tears to my eyes.

  30. That is SO awesome - Rita you and your QOV group are amazing! Thanks for sharing


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