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Thread: Here's what I did on National Quilting Day

  1. #1
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Here's what I did on National Quilting Day

    Quilters honor Lynchburg veteran and his bomb-sniffing dog



    • [Jan in VA - left] Josh Rowland (center) [Anne, Jan's mother - right] and his explosives-sniffing black Labrador Kate, receive quilts from the Patches 'n Pieces Quilt Club at Holy Cross Catholic Church on Sunday for their service in Afghanistan. The News & Advance


    Posted: Monday, March 18, 2013 4:15 am | Updated: 8:51 am, Mon Mar 18, 2013.

    Quilters honor Lynchburg veteran and his bomb-sniffing dog
    newsadvance.com

    It all started with a simple stitch and a sense of gratitude.
    After reading a news story about Marine Lance Cpl. Josh Rowland — a Lynchburg native who served a seven-month tour in Afghanistan last year — and his bomb-sniffing Labrador, Kate, local quilter Jan Bennett-Collier [Jan in VA] wanted to make the pair something special.

    The quilts — one made by Bennett-Collier and her mother, Anne Jackson, and the other by retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. Clyde Savage — were presented to Rowland and his canine companion at Holy Cross Regional Catholic School during the Patches ‘n Pieces Triennial Quilt Show on Sunday.

    “It was the first time I thought about our animal soldiers suffering as much as our human soldiers,” Bennett-Collier said of her reaction to Kate’s story. “It really touched me.”

    The 6-year-old black lab, who served several tours in Afghanistan, is believed to have canine post-traumatic stress disorder, Rowland said.
    Four months into their tour together, he noticed she was acting different while out on patrol. Loud noises startled her. She was no longer sleeping well and became more reluctant to leave his side.
    Her transformation was not the result of one terrifying moment in particular, but possibly the result of trauma and uncertainty brought on by the sharp sounds and high emotion often characteristic of a war zone.

    “Once you’re a handler, and you’re with your dog 24/7, you know when there’s something wrong,” said Rowland, 21. “Believe it or not, your dog is like a human being to you. You can read them extremely well. And she was there before me. So, technically, that was like a second deployment, back to back.”

    He requested to have her retired from duty, which is common when these four-legged, wet-nosed troops used to sniff out mines, track down enemy fighters and clear buildings are struggling with the mental strains of combat.

    Rowland finished the next few months of his tour with a different dog. After he was transferred to Camp Lejeune, N.C., in August, he started the process of trying to get Kate back and, later, was able to adopt her.
    They were reunited last month.

    Savage, who served in Vietnam, said he understands what it’s like to be separated from the things that you care about during war-time and kept that in mind while crafting the quilt. He used the color yellow in a portion of it to symbolize Rowland’s return to the States.
    “It can be so lonely,” Savage said of serving overseas. “I had my happiest moment as a quilter today, seeing his face when we gave it to him. I was glad to do it.”

    [Anne] Jackson seemed to agree. [This is my mother!]
    She fashioned her quilt with a couple of doggy must haves — a large bone and a food bowl with Kate’s name on it.
    “I’m a dog lover,” Jackson said. “They need to be honored in the service, too. I hope she can put it in her bed and sleep on it.”

    Rowland doesn’t think that will be a problem.
    “It’s definitely going to get used,” he said. “This is my first time at a quilt show. It’s pretty cool what people can do with their imagination.”


    Members of the quilt guild who were present at the show spent hours talking with Josh and loving on Kate. The gift quilt presentation was a big hit with everyone! Josh looked at all the quilts and asked many smart questions; he was thoroughly impressed with us quilters. What a joy this day was!

    Jan in VA
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 03-18-2013 at 08:38 AM.
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mom3's Avatar
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    Awesome, Jan, simply awesome! Kudos to everyone involved!

  3. #3
    Power Poster
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    very nice jan!!!!!
    QUILTNMO

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    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    What a wonderful tribute to a deserving pair of soldiers! Kate's quilt is perfect. I cried when I read of her PTS and am glad Josh made the effort to rescue her. Liliana (who is frightened by loud noises) and Moira (who is afraid of nothing) send Kate the Power of the Paw.

  5. #5
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Jan, that is so wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    What a heart-warming story jan. I have to hand it to you and your mom for responding in such love to this pair for thier service to our country. Thanks for all of us.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  7. #7
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    For those of you who remember the Barracks Quilt Project from over 2 years ago, this was a lovely opportunity for our local guild (who helped assemble so many of those tops you sent me) and members here to see the end result of a soldier receiving their quilts. I was so grateful that the show chair saw the wonderful PR it would bring us, as well as the chance to make note of the community outreach most guild have, and allowed us to use the show venue to present the quilts.

    Our PR Chair arranged for THREE TV stations to film and the local newspaper (from which this article came) to be there -- all unbeknownst to me! It was a circus right in the doorway to the gym as the show opened for the day! I was interviewed on camera and was on the local news last night, not an event I particularly enjoy, but necessary in this case.

    Josh is adorable, so handsome up close, very quiet, humble, YOUNG!! My goodness, he looks like a 14 year old to me! Kate is hug-able, loves petting and her squeaky ball. We hid two dog treats in her quilt so she would search through it for them and appear to really look over the quilt for the camera. . All the members and visitors at the show kept Josh around for hours chatting and then he went through the show and looked at all of the quilts.

    I'm still glowing from the experience; it was truly a blessing. I'm determined to keep my eyes open for more opportunities like this locally. My personal reward is greater than the one who receives, I believe, when I see the thankfulness in the recipient's eyes. I encourage all of you to watch your local news and papers for stories about those you, too, can bless in this special way. We call it, "A hug from home."

    Thank you for your kind compliments, QBees.

    Jan in VA
    Last edited by Jan in VA; 03-18-2013 at 09:00 AM.
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Oh, Jan, what a lovely story! Just wow!!

    Dina

  9. #9
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Very deserving recipients. I love these kinds of stories. Good for you and all involved.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  10. #10
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    I cried when I read about Kate having problems. If dogs have this type of a problem it makes you wonder just how bad it is for our young people. Love your story Jan and keep up the good worok. If I can get some stuff together (trying to get my stash under control) I would like to send you a box to help with your mission. Amy

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