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Wounded Warrior Quilts

Finally made a trip to the Camp Pendleton Wounded Warrior Battalion to deliver quilts. After my weekly odyssey there every week during tax season I was going through withdrawals, not hopping in the truck every Wednesday. Funny how patterns can be so easily established and difficult to break. Things are sure humming there. Construction on the new facility is ahead of schedule, with a guestimate of 30% done (mostly foundation work). Right now they think that the ribbon cutting ceremony will be around March 1st. I don’t know whether that will be the date of occupancy or of completion of construction, with moving in date after that. Whatever it is, the 800 pound gorilla is racing our way with a vast number of beds to be filled. The current facility is busting at the seams, having residents all over the local accommodations, due to the rooms being full. Want to hear my heart stop: all the beds are supposed to be queen sized due to ADA requirements. You could have pushed me over with a pin at that point. I am going to continue to ask for full size quilts, however, as they DO fit on a queen bed. Yikes!!

I delivered three boxes of quilts from the uber-generous Santa Rosa Quilt guild. The Marines kept commenting on how nice the colors were. One young Marine had just been admitted as a resident and was very fascinated with the quilts. He told me that his mother made one “just like that” and kept fondling this one quilt. I asked the SSGt, and no, his bed had no quilt on it. I handed that quilt to him and he turned beet red, stammering “are you SURE”; You could really tell he lusted after it but did NOT want to ask. When I saw him walking across the parking lot later he was about three feet above the ground with a big grin on his face.

They took me to the duty storage room and there were no full size quilts, so most of those delivered were left for rotational residents. Some (a very few) are being held in reserve until the March opening freight train….

There are two head slaps for me in this newsletter (you **do** watch NCIS, yes?). Last newsletter I very carefully wrote down the names of donors and the list was typed in order that I stacked the quilts. In the enthusiasm of the Marines, the order got shuffled and I mis-identified quilts and donors. Hello!! There were only five quilts, but in a small amount of my defense I was quite exhausted from the conclusion of tax season. The head slap comes from relying on paper and stacking order. I’m so used to the limitations of camera film (let’s see, I need to shoot this, this and yet this and there are only 6 frames left on the roll……). We are in a DIGITAL age and I can (and now do) take shots of the box label and contents before they leave my house. The digital memory card is almost impossible to fill and I can do as many identification shots as needed……and promise to do this in the future.

The second head slap was for seeing but not SEEING an obvious use and need. Ken and Toni S from Texas came through on a vacation spin (love those airline miles) and brought a beautiful quilt for the WWB. They also handed me a prezzie – a pillowcase. I looked at it and the 5 watt light bulb finally engaged. Pillowcases!! I’ve seen several donated by the quilt makers but never thought about them. Perfect for going with a quilt. Perfect to use up more scrap material. Perfect for a gift for my 95 year old pop so he can have dreams of his kitties. Perfect for the 8 grandkids who have huge weight restrictions when the military moves their family – yet again! Thanks Toni!!

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