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.
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 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.
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.
Thanks to Bonnie Cain for this photo of me holding the quilt up.
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.
Composing ourselves a bit later, we got a nice picture to remember the day.
This is the quilt. The blocks were made by Melanie Tehan, and I posted about the assembly and quilting in Sampler Quilt of Valor.
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?