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Wounded Warrior Battalion Update

The following story and pictures were sent to us by Terese Thomas who is our contact person for donating quilts to the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton. Here is her most recent update:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tax season is over and I have partially regained my sanity. Sleep is a wonderful restorative! Several folks have queried some comments I made in prior posts and it is clear that although I **thought** my words made sense, that they were cryptic to some. This was very much not my intention – chalk it up to extreme fatigue! The new barracks are state of the art, big, beautiful and the space belonging to the Marine residents. I’ve heard from more than one parent of children injured from other military branches of service. Those occupants of military injured housing are forced to pony up into formation for every visiting “suit” and big wig, no matter how they feel or whether any benefit TO THE RESIDENT could be obtained from the show and tell. The Marines, on the other hand, march to a different drummer (didn’t we already know this?); the barracks, having gone through the opening visit, are now off limits to visitors unless there is a very real and vitally important reason. Those areas are to be the resting space, healing area, whatever you want to call them – it is the area for the resident Marines (and staff). Physical wounds have clearly defined healing periods. Psychological and neurological wounds have different modalities of healing and quiet, calm, regimented schedules are all vital elements to the slow cadence of healing steps from these type of wounds. This doesn’t mean the barracks aren’t tidy, squared away and maintained in the expected USMC fashion, but visiting hours are now closed…..

And if you ever wondered about the other service branches, just take a gander at this article from the LA Times….makes you cringe at the treatment of wounded elsewhere

After the opening of the barracks, I’ve been taking the stack of quilts from my spare bedroom. I felt like the Princess and the Pea. I took the first 20, and then this past week took the pillows with family traditions of the school children (thanks Heather) and the remaining 33 quilts – that meant I had 53 quilts on that groaning bed!!

picture of large stack of quilts

There were also 3 huge feed sacks full of avocados from the Stehly Ranch – and I even remembered to bring some plastic bags from home so folks could taken enough to make nice big batches of guacamole at home….yum

picture of bag of avacados

I’ve also been asked more than once about how the quilts are distributed. In the past they had one Marine who was pretty well along in the healing phase to pick and choose the quilts to be put in various rooms. Problem is, you see, that the overwhelming choices of which quilt to take could be more harmful than the healing beauty of the quilt. It is pretty well documented that one of the most common areas for panic attacks is in the cereal aisle of grocery stores – too many choices!! When a small batch of quilts arrive and are photographed, the Marines can select one that catches their eye. The choice from a large selection is daunting, and one Marine is usually assigned that task. Since that Marine is now at another base (serving in a limited duty capacity) someone else will be given the job and I’m not sure whom it will be. SSGts won’t forget to distribute them – never fear!!

I also have to confess about being very remiss in my duties. Last summer I put together a database of which quilts in what numbers had been delivered by me for all you wonderful folks out there. I let the updating of that information fall behind so I’m not certain of the actual number of quilts delivered. Sometime next month I PROMISE to finish that listing and will let you all in on the total number when I take, photograph and send the newsletter of the quilts that have arrived in the past month. New quilts to share!! In the mean time, I was sent a huge batch of photos of the quilts from Bridgeport as they were displayed at a quilt show prior to the CHP escorted delivery. These will be shared a little at a time so as to not overwhelm the ISPs with an email too big. My first effort got stuck in my outbox and is still squatting there, moaning – too fat to squeeze through my own delivery sphincter Seems that three per email is all that can be handled.

Enjoy the spring weather, families, friends, fabric and fiber arts and stay healthy and happy. Blessings and thanks need to be heaped on all of you who help these WII (I remembered the new acronym: wounded, ill, injured) Marines in whatever manner, large and small you can muster.

Therese Thomas

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