Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday's Presentation Pictures
A note from Tina: Rita, we didn't go inside the gym because it was standing room only for relatives and friends. It was a wonderful turn out.
The quilts were all laid out on tables and someone was supposed to announce that the soldiers should go to our area for their quilt, and a card from a Daisy group! The announcement was never made, so we had to round the soldiers up ourselves. We have many left over, but what a start for the next return. I got a couple pictures, Jim got a couple, and Vicki said that Rays camera was really good, so hoping he got good pictures. It was a very good first time for me.
From the pictures taken at the returns you got to go to, they were much better. But hey, it was all good.
...and another note from Vicki: A lot of adages enter into this past evening - when given lemons make lemonade, old age and trickery will win out every time, and the best laid plans of mice and men.
The plans were all in place, we arrived at Hampshire High School early to help with the set up. The Patriotic Guard helped my husband with the quilts and several of the Reservists helped get the rest of the quilts out storage (Rita took her quilts on Friday before the storm). So the quilts are all arranged on the tables out side of the gym. While we were waiting a mother and her little girls approached us saying her dad, the little girl's grandfather was returning with the troops and her Daisy Troop (Youngest Girl Scouts) had made Christmas cards and could she stand at the end of the table and give the men each a card. Well of course we said she could what a treat for us to see her light up every time she handed out a card. The families were ushered into the gym and Tina, Alberta, My friend Mary, Myself and our husbands were allowed to stay in the commons area where I had been told the men would come into. We saw the fire trucks, and buses arrive - we knew before the families that they troops were home. So we waited, and waited - well you know they had a lot of gear to take off the buses and it was a long ride and some of them well you can figure that out. So finally they started to file into the commons area between the Patriotic Guard and into the gym. Oh my gosh, the families were so excited. After everyone was in and Commander Bennett took the podium he gave his very nervous delivery of the 485th Engineering Company History and some other words, they retired the Company flag that had traveled to Iraq with them, I must say it needed to be retired and they replaced it with a new one and then said in his biggest voice -DISMISSED - well the families were out of their seats.
BUT WAIT - he forgot to read the message about the quilts - what were we going to do - some of the young soldiers started to file out of the gym - some actually got away - we could not capture them. So I made my way to the doors and grabbed a couple of the young soldiers who had helped us earlier - they stood at the doors and got the men in our direction. Well you know it worked and the four of us actually got to talk to a lot of the young men & women and wrap them in their quilts as the families looked on. That then got the attention of others and slowly but surely we got the majority of them. They were so surprised but they really loved the quilts and I myself got to tell several of them about the labels and were to put there names and how I hoped they would be able to pass these on to future generations. I have never met a sweeter bunch of men and women. They ranged from the very young to one man that was 58 years old. What a treat for me and guess what I kept so busy I did not have time for any tears to fall. There was one quilt in the bunch that I had pieced and quilted and bounded and I had held that back for the Commander (I was being a little selfish). I finally found him collecting his gear - he apologized for missing the announcement and said he was just very nervous - I told that was obvious and he laughed. I hand him his quilt and helped him removed it from the pillow case and wrapped him in it and he was so taken back and so pleased. I got another big hug and that made everything right with the world. Things don't always go as we want or as we hoped but in the end it usually works out. All in all it was a great evening and I was so proud to represent Land of Lincoln Quilts of Valor.
Rita - I brought back 21 quilts (as I said some of them just plain got away) and Alberta took three of hers to send to her sister in Colorado to take to a Military Hospital). I gave my card to the Sergeant, who was kind of in charge and asked him to check and see if everyone got a quilt the next time they were together. They have a location in Rockford for it will be easy for me to make sure they get their quilts. So I will get back to quilting probably in a few days and I will hold onto the quilts until such time that they are gone or you need them. Thanks again for all of your support and God bless each and everyone of the girls that cut, sewed and quilted and bound the quilts this would not have happened without all of us working together. There is will be an article on the interest tomorrow about the troops and will include information about LOLQOV. I talked to a reporter and she called me today to verify some information so I will send the link tomorrow.
And now back to my quilting,
Vixanna "Vicki" Robbel
PS we made the newspaper:
at 6:28 PM