Welcome to "Quilts of Honor - the Travis Project"

Quilts of Honor - the Travis Project, was created out of a desire to honor not only the memory of SSG Travis Hunsberger, but to show honor and respect to the men and women he served with. I made a quilt for Steve & Ronda, Travis' parents, and presented the idea of making more quilts for the soldiers at Fort Bragg. There are numerous wonderful organizations who provide quilts to wounded and hospitalized soldiers, but I felt led to do something different. We decided our first project would be to provide a quilt to each of the men in Travis' unit at the time of his death. Our goal was to accomplish this by Christmas. I am happy to report that we have exceeded our goal, and on December 10 2008, two men from our church, Wakarusa Missionary, headed off to North Carolina to deliver 19 quilts!! In May of 2009, we were able to deliver another 33 quilts!! Since then, we have delivered approximately 40 more quilts to families of the fallen and also to Wounded Warriors. Your help is still needed in lots of ways if we are to keep this project ongoing. First and foremost, pray for these brave men and women who serve each day to keep us free and protect us from those who would seek to do our nation harm. If you are a sewist or quilter, I can use you, if you would like to donate fabric or funds, I can use you. If you'd like to leave an encouraging word, or perhaps you knew Travis and would like to share a memory, I can use that too!

For more information on how you can help, contact me through this blog, by phone @ 574-849-7930, or by email, mamabech@msn.com.

To mail donations, send them to:

Quilts of Honor, c/o Dawn Bechtel, P.O. Box 613, Wakarusa, IN 46573. (Checks should be made out to Quilts of Honor.)

Thanks for stopping by, God bless you, and God Bless America!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A year has past. . .

A year ago today, Travis Kent Hunsberger paid the ultimate price for our freedom...he gave his life. In some ways this past year has flown by, in other ways, it has seemed eternally endless. It's been a year of grieving, fond memories, great hope of a heavenly reunion, memorial services, tributes, sharing, and caring. I've met people I probably might never have met had it not been for Travis' death, special people from all walks of life. The common bond is his life, and his love of life, and family, and friends, and his God, and his country. We all wish he were still with us, no doubt, but Travis is OK because he rests in the arms of his heavenly Father. And something else has happened to me too...I stand a little straighter when I see the flag, I pray more fervently for our servicemen, I take life one day at a time now, I love more deeply, and I understand more clearly that freedom is not free. To Steve, Ronda, Kyle, Sam, & Kelsey...thank-you for allowing me to be a part of so much of your lives this past year, I love you all so much! To Luis, Tony, Ramone & Emmy, Ron & Sylvia, Brian S., Brian D., Mike & LeAnna, Patrick, David, & Chris...thank-you for sharing the Travis you knew and for allowing me to be a part of your lives as well. It's been an honor and a privilege and I love you all! May God keep you safe as you continue to serve Him and our country, and may He grant you peace as well...To the many of you who have contributed in some way over the past year, a huge thank-you! You'll never know what your efforts have meant to so many. Please help me keep this project going...I will be revamping it and changing a few things in the new future, but am still taking all forms of donations. There is the possibility of another quilt delivery in the fall, I will let you all know soon...And as always, may the Lord bless you all and may He continue to bless America!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Remembering the fallen and those left behind. . .

I don't even know where to begin this entry. I've tried to keep this about the quilts and not get too personal, but after the week I've experienced, it's hard not to be personal. First, I need to once again offer a HUGE THANK-YOU to everyone who played a part in this project! Some donated finances, some donated quilt tops, whole quilts, free quilting, quilt blocks, and the finishing of the quilts by binding. And my understanding boss, Jeanette Prenkert, donated my work time to allow me to finish in the final days before I left.
I wish every one of you could have made the trip...I will carry with me the personal satisfaction of what we have done, for a lifetime. Unfortunately, we could do more. I saw several people who looked longingly at the quilts and I wished with all my heart I had more to give out. I would like to keep making and "stockpiling" so we don't get caught in a rush again, so if you're willing, keep 'em coming! They are most definitely appreciated! It has spoken volumes to many to know that we care enough to share our time, talents, and resources with those who are serving or have served us.
I was privileged to attend the Gold Star luncheon with Steve and Ronda, in which the families of fallen soldiers were recognized. I was overwhelmed, and not for the only time, at the realization that every table, and there were many, represented a family who had lost a loved one. At the Memorial Service, each name was read and a bell sounded for the names added to the wall...I cannot even put those feelings at that moment into words...sadness, pride, gratitude...don't even touch it. I met wives, mothers, fathers, and children of those men. Faces I'll never forget, I don't WANT to forget. The death of Travis brought the war home...meeting his team put another face on the war...this past week added another whole dimension for me. I have been changed since June 27th, 2008...I see life differently then ever before, I want to laugh more, live better, and love more freely. I have a new family and they reside in North Carolina...I miss them already. I've already received two emails from a sweet lady who tended to us at our get together Thursday night. Her husband is currently deployed, she calls me her new sister. I love it! But there is also alot of hurt and anger out there...pray for my friends to find peace. Some of them have seen and experienced more then you or I could begin to imagine.
The biggest lesson I've learned in the last year is this, we do not know what tomorrow holds...live with no regrets, be sure your loved ones know you love them, and be ready to meet your Savior. I'm not perfect in any way, but I'm doing my best to make my world better...God bless you all!
God Bless our soldiers and their families...

Names of Soldiers honored at the Memorial Service:
Fallen, but not forgotten. . .

SSG Jeremy E Bessa
SSG John C Brite
SSG Jason L Brown
SGT Nicholas A Casey
CPT Richard G Cliff, Jr.
SSG Josepg F Curreri
SSG Anthony D Davis
CPR Benjamin C Dillon
SPC Christopher Gathercole
SSG Travis K Hunsberger
SPC Thomas Duncan III
SSG Frank J Gasper
MSG David L Hurt
MAJ Robert D Lindendau
CPT Shane R Mahaffee
SSG Ryan D Maseth
CW3 Hershel D McCants, Jr.
SFC David L McDowell
SFC Jamie S Nicholas
SFC David Nunez
SGT Timothy P Padgett
SSG Robert J Paul
SSG Robert R Pirelli
CW3 John A Quinlan
SFC Jeffrey M Radamorales
SGT Nicholas A Robertson
SGT William P Rudd
MSG Shawn E Simmons
SSG David W Textor
SGT James E Treber
SFC Michael J Tully
SFC Gary J Vasquez
SPC Travis R Vaughn
CW5 Jamie D Weeks
SSG Joshua R Whitaker
MSG Mitchell W Young

Pictures of Quilts and North Carolina!!

Be patient as you watch the slide show, I had a hard time deciding what to post and what to leave out! Believe me, this is only about half of what I could've shown you! I will post details in another entry, this one is dedicated to pictures. Enjoy. . .