A Quilt of Valor Presentation

Sometimes the stars align, and you get to do something incredibly special for a friend.  This happened last week, when I had the great honor of presenting a Quilt of Valor to a longtime quilting friend.  Bonnie Hartel was an Army Nurse during the Vietmam era, and served our country with pride and dignity.  I was standing on the stage with everyone, then realized I hadn’t given my camera to anyone, so I slipped away before the presentation began and got a shot of everyone else.

Bonnie H's QOV Presentation at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The awarding of the quilt was kept a secret, not an easy task since Bonnie is also a member of the Quilts of Valor group, but we did it.  I didn’t tell one single soul for the month that I knew this quilt would be mine to present and who I would present to, not even DH!!  Bonnie was completely surprised.

Bonnie H's QOV Presentation at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Bonnie had to tell the audience about her service herself since we couldn’t ask her for the details.  She also spoke about the significance of this recognition and gratitude to veterans, particularly of the Vietnam era.

Bonnie H's QOV Presentation at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

I opened up the quilt to show her, then turned to show it to the audience, then to the committee standing behind on the stage.

Bonnie H's QOV Presentation at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Thanks to Bonnie Cain for this photo of me holding the quilt up.

Bonnie H's QOV Presentation at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

I wrapped the quilt over her shoulders from the back as I thanked her for her service.  She turned immediately to hug me back, and we both fought back tears.

Bonnie H's QOV Presentation at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Composing ourselves a bit later, we got a nice picture to remember the day.

Bonnie H's QOV Presentation at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

This is the quilt.  The blocks were made by Melanie Tehan, and I posted about the assembly and quilting in Sampler Quilt of Valor.

Bonnie H's QOV Presentation at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

If you haven’t seen a Quilt of Valor presentation, I encourage you to go.  Nominate a veteran at the national website – Request a Quilt of Valor.  Know that there are more veterans than quilts so it may take a year to get to the top of the presentation list.  If you can help make a quilt for this organization, click HERE to see the requirements and find the chapter near you.  Longarmer help is available for quilting in some areas.

Have you participated with Quilts of Valor?

23 thoughts on “A Quilt of Valor Presentation

  1. How lovely!! I’ve attended a few presentations and the tears always flow. I made one QOV a few years ago for donation to Operation SEAS the DAY here. Our QOV coordinator is an “army nurse” too. I’m trying to find out if she was a civilian or active duty when she worked with the army. She deserves a QOV. You did a wonderful job keeping the secret too!! Lovely quilt.

  2. I love Quilts of Valor. I have been a member for many years. I participated through my Facebook group. Last year I became the Utah State Coordinator. That was a game changer. I began to have the opportunity to present quilts to our deserving service members and veterans. They are so humble and so very grateful. I feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing organization. If someone isn’t involved, I so encourage them to do so.

  3. Mary Stori

    WOW…chills up and down my spine as I read this. My graditude to Bonnie for her service and many thanks to all of you for honoring her in such a special way.

  4. Please extend my thanks to Bonnie for her service (and give her a hug for me). I got a bit teary-eyed reading the post. What a great program this is. We don’t thank our veterans enough for their service.

  5. Donna

    I am a member of QOV and have donated two quilts to Vietnam veterans. My sister did the first presentation because he is a good friend of hers. He wept so hard and told her no one had ever thanked him for his service! The Vietnam veterans don’t get the recognition they deserve. So glad you got to be a part of this wonderful presentation.

  6. Melanie

    What a great and special honor for you and your QOV friend, Carole. The sampler quilt is beautiful, but I must let you know it was not I who made all those blocks….maybe one or two?…..but someone else deserves the credit for those lovely blocks. I truly do not recognize them.

  7. Barbara Winkler

    My QOV group is very prolific! So far we have made 5,425 quilts and I know we have over a dozen new ones to turn in tomorrow. Last year we awarded 591 Veterans with quilts and so far this year are just over 200. I’m off to do 2 today, have three to award on Thurs and a multitude on Sat. Not only do I do most of the presenting, but I also make 50-100 a year. I already made over 29 so far this year. Check out our facebook and our website. http://www.socalqov.org to see the variety of quilts we make as well as most of the Veterans.

  8. Cindy Beal

    How fantastic you got to present this quilt to your friend Bonnie!!!! What an honor!!! NowI have a big lump in my throat….

  9. Pat Kleber

    Thank you for your service!
    I have gotten involved with QOV here in Myrtle Beach, SC and attend many of the presentations. Our chapter, The Myrtle Beach Shorebirds have presented thousands of quilts since 2010 and have at least 400 veterans waiting in our area. I help with kit making, sewing toppers and binding and have begun to learn longarming. It means so much to be able to give back to these wonderful deserving veterans. God Bless them!

  10. Oh Carole, what a wonderful post. It brought a tear to my eyes, and I am so happy to see Bonnie being awarded a quilt. How special that you were involved, and she will really feel all the love and thankfulness stitched into the very being of that quilt. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story! ~smile~ Roseanne

  11. Oh my goodness Carole, I am in tears just looking at your photos!! So lovely to present Bonnie with the quilt, the Vietnam vets were sadly neglected for many years. I make quilts for Aussie Hero’s and hearing some of their stories brings me to tears too!!

  12. Joy B

    How wonderful that you could present this lovely quilt to your friend! A group from my church gets together every few months to make quilt tops for QOV, and I’ve sewed with them several times and attended several presentations. It’s an unbelievable experience.

  13. dezertsuz

    What a lovely, lovely thing! I know how valued these quilts are. I made exactly one quilt specifically for my husband, and not as a vet quilt, and he would NOT let me put anything else on the bed after that quilt was made. =) My son treasures his, as well. Thank you for sharing this presentation with your friend. How warm feeling that must have been.

  14. thedarlingdogwood

    I tear up just reading about it! So wonderful that you could honor your friend in person in such a deeply meaningful way.

  15. Phyllis Smith

    Good morning Carole,

    Have enjoyed all the Quilts of Valor you have shared with us all, they are truly labors of love for our men that have served our country.

    Thank you for all the wonderful quilts, recipes and field trips and flowers, it’s a delight to see all you are involved in and it inspires us all.


  16. Michele Margulis Bretz

    I put in the the search box for Quilt of Valor Presentation and came up with your blog. How appropriate as I know Bonnie Hartel and she is a fellow Nurse Veteran who I asked about getting a quilt done for one of my Korean War Veteran Chapter Members. Charles Holden will be presented his QOV on July 27th in Brevard, NC. He was on one of the last ships to end the Korean War. I’m glad our paths crossed! I too am a quilter and this was how I paid for nursing school and how I relax.

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