Monday, June 16, 2014
I was recently asked to provide my “elevator speech” as to why one should become involved with Quilts of Valor. I don’t have one…but there is some pressure coming down from the top. So here it is. Be aware it is a slow elevator in a very tall building. You can get off on any floor.
I was born in Washington DC in 1946. Okay maybe that’s too far back.
My "speech" is not about why one should become involved it is why I became involved. Whether or not one is involved comes from within. If you don’t have it I’m not going to talk you into it. It comes from the soul and the heart.
Being a part of QOVF is an opportunity to continue my service to this country and those that defend what it stands for. It is my honor to Award Quilts of Valor to those that do and have. It is my duty to make sure that those that have served and those that are serving never, not ever, feel like what they have done, the sacrifices they and their families have made, goes unnoticed or ignored. I never want anyone to feel the bitterness I felt when I came home under orders not to wear my uniform. I still haven’t figured out why I wasn’t allowed to share in the love I have for this country and why displaying that pride as a United States Marine in uniform was condemned because those that didn’t or wouldn’t take the oath disgraced us all by protesting in the streets of America. Thank goodness that didn’t happen a generation sooner. I will always and forever believe that my government supported the wrong group of individuals. As long as I can take a breath I won’t allow that to happen with all that I can muster. Being a part of QOVF is part of that commitment.
Serving as a “volunteer” provides me the opportunity to continue to experience the feelings of comfort, humility, gratefulness, honor, dignity, concern, patriotism, belonging and a visible support for the one percent of people that stand in harm’s way to defend it. All without regard as to whether it is popular or not. QOVF asks nothing from me other than what I can and choose to give. You won't find that to be the case very often.
It has given me the opportunity to meet some of the finest of men and women. Those that make the quilts and those that receive them when they become Quilts of Valor. All heroes in their own right. It does so without regard to ethnicity, bias, religious beliefs, political beliefs or prejudice. Who or how the recipient celebrates spiritually or politically is of no significance regarding their qualifications to be awarded. As it has been said, it is about the people. Something not seen frequently enough in this, the 21st Century, and here in the Land of the Free.
So back to the original question. What is your elevator speech as to why someone should become involved with the Quilts of Valor?
With all due respect and in all sincerity. "I don’t have one."
Les Page…Virginia Beach, VA
Quilt till you wilt…we do.