Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother’s Day - Honoring Women Who Served

We have several members within the CT Quilters Quilts of Valor Group with close ties to the military or wartime service.  And some of our members are also Veterans themselves.  We thought it would be fitting on this day that is designated to honor women and mothers that we let you know of some of the accomplishments of these remarkable women.

First we offer a brief introduction to Barb L, owner of the Crafty Threads Quilt Shop.  Barb is an US Air Force Veteran and was stationed in both Denver, CO (where she learned to ski !!) and Sacramento, CA (where she honed her technical skills).  She was once sent on a temporary assignment north of the Arctic Circle (BRRR!).  Of course, we aren’t privy to why she went there, but suffice to say that the polar bears all know Barb …  just kidding, Barb – don’t send the bears after us!!

Barb offered her shop as an Under Our Wings location with the Quilts of Valor Foundation and volunteered to do QOV longarm quilting for the group.  The CT Quilters meet there once a month and are very grateful for the contributions Barb makes to our group’s efforts.
Our second introduction is to Linda F, one of our own CT Quilters and a Veteran of the US Navy.   Linda was an air traffic controllman and served as part of the flight crew on C-118 and C-131 where she met her husband on her check ride for qualifying as an air crewman.   Linda earned her wings in July 1968.  Way to go, Linda!

The women in Linda’s family have a proud tradition of service.  Both Linda’s daughter, Allison, and her mother-in-law Beatrice, are Navy Veterans.  Allison is a disabled Navy Veteran, having served in 1993.  And Beatrice served as a Photographers Mate during WWII.  There is plenty more to tell about Linda’s family tree-of-service, but that will have to wait until Father’s Day!
Next up are our own CT Quilters, Suzanne and Diana.  Suzanne’s mother served as a military nurse (what a caring profession if there ever was one…) and Diana’s mother was a genuine Rosie the Riveter, representing women who worked in factories to further the war effort in WWII (how cool is that?).
Norman Rockwell's Saturday
Evening Post Cover of Rosie
And last, but not least, our leader of the CT Quilters, Pat N, wrote this touching tribute to her mother, Essie, a US Army Veteran.

A Mothers Day Remembrance
by Pat N

My mother PFC Essie J from Tabor City, NC enlisted in the Army of the United States in 1944.  She was always an adventurous soul and decided to leave family in NC and head to Detroit where she began a career in Sales but soon heeded the call of the Military.  Like her there were about 150,000 other women who served in the WAAC and WAC.  These women were counted above those who served as nurses.  It has been said that General Mac Arthur felt that the WAC’s contributions in efficiency, skill, spirit and determination were immeasurable to the war effort.

My Mother served in the American Theater of Operation at Selfridge Field in Michigan.  Selfridge began operations in 1917 as a training base.  It was named for Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge the Nation’s first military pilot.  While my mother served there it was designated as a WW II Army Airfield of the First Air Force.

Upon her discharge in 1946 she received the American Theatre of Operation WW II Victory Medal, which was created on November 6, 1942 by Executive Order of the President to recognize those service members who performed duties stateside.  The medal was awarded to all military personnel for service between 12/7/41 and 12/31/46.  She also received the ASC Score (2Sept45) 11 Lapel button which was (made of brass) of an Eagle with outstretched wings.  It was meant to be worn by an ex-solider pleased to be a civilian again.

My Mother settled in Detroit where she met my Father (a WW II veteran Air Traffic Controller who served in India and Burma) at a U.S.O. Club.  They raised two children.  My brother was a 25-year veteran of the Air Force.  My Mother spent her life in trying new things from being an Interior Designer in Michigan to working for Walt Disney and then managing a large department store in California to moving with her family to Florida in the 1960’s for fun and sun.  She settled in South Florida and began a career in Clothing and Accessories having her own clothing line, her accessories sold in gift shops including “The Outrigger” in Jensen Beach to changing to bridal dresses and accessories in Fort Lauderdale.

She passed away in 1998 and resides in Bushnell VA Cemetery in close proximity to her son. 
Mom (upper right) with unit friends

We applaud all of the women who chose to serve and recognize that they often made sacrifices to do so.  We send our heartfelt “Thank You” on this special day of celebration.
Quote of the Day:
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
Cynthia Ozick, American Essayist

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