Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ya Never Know!!!

No, really, you never know...In this case 'what inspires or motivates' an individual to take an action or the next step, sometimes backwards, sometimes forward. This was a forward step on my part as a result of what I considered to be selfish, juvenile and single minded actions and comments from some locals we are acquainted with belonging to what I describe as a small  'clic' of 'like' individuals belonging to a larger group but not really a part of it. There are no names...wouldn't make any difference...don't know them any way...but very familiar with their actions and the rhetoric of a self elected mouthpiece. This isn't the first time I've encountered this situation of a small faction of misinformed or uninformed individuals that think their way is the only way and the best way...nor will it be the last, they never seem to go away and always seem to be around when large groups of people get together. In this case the documented and verbal criticism from several of the 'clic' was directed towards my wife and her dedication and commitment to the Quilts of Valor. I think Julia Roberts said it best in Pretty Woman..."Big Mistake. Big. Huge..." The following is my written response:


First I must point out to those who have not read, heard or been made aware of the Quilts of Valor Mission Statement the following…that can easily be located on the Home Page of qovf.org. It is to say the least, simple and should leave no doubt as to its meaning or the mission of QOVF.

“The mission of the Quits of Valor Foundation is to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”

Secondly rest assured that the commitment, sincerity, conviction and dedication to honor and abide by that Mission Statement directs the actions and commitment of Elaine Page, my wife and lifelong partner, in recognizing the need of ‘all’ veterans that have served this great country each and every day. Past and present on home or foreign soil, hospitalized or having residence, visible wounds, wounds suffered that have no visible characteristics or no wounds period are not separations of qualification that Elaine nor Quilts of Valor recognize. The presentation of a Quilt of Valor is stipulated very specifically as “…touched by war…” That brush with reality does not always manifest visually or consciously. With the obvious exception of a few it is my experience that neither do our guild members associate with what I consider to be single minded and juvenile. It is this guild characteristic of unselfish, dedicated and sincere respect for quilting and quilting for QOV and the gratitude of those serving and those that have served that guided me to membership. Please rest assured I will die protecting any individual’s right to have and express their point of view and the freedoms that guarantee that right. Also be assured with that I be allowed to express mine and disagree with theirs.

With the exception of my father, a decorated WWII combat veteran and my wife, it would be 22 years before any individual would thank me for my service in Vietnam…I vowed long ago, and long before it was popular that I would not, I would Never Forget, and always make the extra effort to recognize another’s service. QOV has just been another avenue that allows me to do that. One that I am so thankful for and one I doubt could be truly understood by others, other than Elaine.  Elaine’s dedication and commitment is even more deeply rooted. It was Elaine that would be awakened in the middle of the night lying next to the man she married sitting up in bed staring at her and not knowing whether he recognized her, where he was, who he was with or possibly why he was. It would be a long time before I would know this for I to this day have no recollection of these incidents and I’m not certain I can even relate to the courage she needed to experience them. It does explain some of the patience, care, love and understanding I received that baffled my mind as to why would anyone put up with me for this long. Let me assure you, it is this patience, care, love and understanding that goes into every quilt she sews on, longarms, cuts fabric for, pieces and presents. One can also rest assured if there are individuals that desire to see their quilt sent anywhere in the world for presentation…she will see to it that their desires are met and they receive the information necessary to carry that desire out. But I beyond any reasonable doubt beyond any and all expectations and beliefs know that those “…touched by war…” can be found everywhere…and whether it be through Quilts of Valor, Quilts of Honor East, or a quilters guild I will make every effort to fulfill the need to recognize, not only those who pass through a hospital, but have passed through the anguish of war, sacrificed to serve this country and made the commitment to protect and honor this Republic and the documents that are the foundation of our freedom. For those that don’t believe doing that locally, as often as is humanly possible, is in the best interest of QOV, the guild, our community and our appreciation, well you haven’t been to a presentation.  

With the sincerest respect,

Les Page


My response to these actions, the motivation and inspiration to become more active in the Quilts of Valor Foundation, more than just longarming quilts, directed me to investigate other avenues and discover what more could I do to support the 'mission' of QOVF and Elaine's commitment to deliver an accurate and informed message as QOVF deserves. It would lead to applying for a Regional Coordinator's position with the Quilts of Valor Foundation...My application for Region 9 Virginia, was accepted and I have assumed the duties associated with that position...to say I'm honored to become a more active and involved member of this dedicated and committed group of individuals would be at best an understatement.  In the above letter I made the statement "...I will make every effort..." My application being accepted is another avenue to fulfill that...be assured as the Region 9 Virginia Regional Coordinator I will make every effort to promote, assist, point in the right direction and aid any and all individuals in there quest to support the mission, procedures and policies as directed by the Quilts of Valor Foundation.

Les Page
QOVF Region 9 VA...Regional Coordinator

and I will NEVER FORGET


2 comments:

  1. I love you both! Les this is beautifully written from somewhere in the depths of your soul. I welcome you as a new QOVF Coordinator.
    I am the Idaho QOVF Coordinator. I have been honored to have been taken "Under the Wings" of our local Marine Corps League.
    Would you be willing to submit an excerpt - "With the exception of my father........" to the blog/newsletter? karla.locke@QOVF.org I so often hear "Why would you want to open old wounds? They are have already forgotten them."
    I always say there isn't a day, hour or min that goes by that "it" is forgotten. Coming from you lips says it all.
    Les, Thank You for your service and your continued service. If there is one thing I have learned from the Marines - They Never Stop Giving!
    Sharon Ledbetter
    QOVF Idaho Coordinator

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  2. Sharon thank you so much for the kind words and the welcome. I have no problem with you using the excerpt you've indicated for Karla. And when you encounter those that think the old wounds are forgotten...please correct them...they are not forgotten...we will NEVER FORGET...but we do our best to not let them get in the way of living...some of us are successful. Later...Les...

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