Students at Lincoln Hill High School in Stanwood took turns sewing strips of patriotic fabric during their lunches in late September, volunteering their time to create something important together.
The result is a red, white and blue Quilt of Valor the students will present to local veteran Swede Lind during a school assembly on Friday.
Lind served in Vietnam and later in Europe, earning the nickname Flashman for his job in the communications field working in “flash traffic” — short, important messages that needed to be quickly relayed to commanding officers.
“It’s cool to give back to the people who’ve given so much already,” said junior Cass Rojas, one of the dozens of students who spent part of their lunch time sewing.
Spearheading the project was school counselor Christy Thompson, who had previously made a Quilt of Valor.
“The idea is that they are doing something that’s bigger than themselves,” she said. “It connects history to real people while honoring a veteran.”
The Quilts of Valor program began in 2003 and has now connected nearly 200,000 veterans with quilts made by a nationwide network of volunteers, according to the organization’s website qovf.org. Each quilt has specific requirements to ensure consistency in size and presentation.
The Lincoln Hill students completed sewing the quilt a month ago before mailing it to Quilts of Valor volunteer Saundra Chambers in Rutherford, North Carolina, to quilt together the top, batting and back.
The students are looking forward to presenting the quilt to Lind.
“It’s a simple, small thing we can all do to give back,” junior Lily Venigas-McVeigh said.
Camano women donate to Quilts for Heroes
Each month the Camano Island Women’s Republican Club identifies a community project in which the members can make a positive impact.
Col. Tracy Merck, USAF (Retired), was the guest speaker for the Oct. 23 meeting. She devotes her time helping veterans and assisting students who want to attend the Air Force Academy.
The club chose to honor active military and veterans in several ways.
One way was to donate $200 to Camano Chapel’s His Veterans organization that supports local veterans.
Another way was to donate fabric to the Stanwood-Camano Chapter of American Hero Quilts. Quilts for Heroes was formed to show appreciation for service men and women who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Each wounded soldier is given a quilt on his or her arrival at Madigan Hospital at Joint Base Lewis McCord, other transition centers in the U.S. and directly to bases in Afghanistan.
See ciwrc.com for meeting and contact information.