News>Edwards group honors two of its wounded warriors
Katherine Trowbridge, Air Force Test Center Contracting Directorate resource advisor, presents Tech. Sgt. Lawrence Bredwell, 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron fighter aircraft crew chief, with a Quilt of Valor during a presentation ceremony in Building 2800 on Aug. 8. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jet Fabara)
Tech. Sgt. Lawrence Bredwell (left) and retired Army Sgt.1st Class Christopher Chebahtah were both presented with Quilts of Valor during a presentation ceremony Aug. 8 at Building 2800. The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a foundation that presents quilts to servicemembers and veterans as a way of paying tribute and honoring those servicemembers. Bredwell is currently a fighter aircraft crew chief with the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron and Mr. Chebahtah is an electrical technician with the 412th Maintenance Group Bomber Instrumentation shop. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jet Fabara)
8/15/2012 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- What initially started in 2003 as one mom's way of showing gratitude for her son's military service, and that of all servicemembers, by creating and presenting quilts to returning warriors eventually grew into the Quilts of Valor Foundation.
Now nearly 10 years later, a group of QOVF volunteers with the Edwards Contracting Office are continuing that same legacy Catherine Roberts began and are demonstrating their gratitude by presenting two of Edwards wounded warriors with Quilts of Valor Aug. 8.
"The purpose of the QOVF is to 'cover' all servicemembers and veterans who have been touched by war with comforting quilts to help in the healing process. The quilt is a small token of our appreciation to our warriors for their bravery, sacrifice and service," said Janice Laurenti, Air Force Test Center Contracting Directorate contracts specialist and QOVF Southern California regional coordinator. "Today was the second QOV presentation that has been held on base where we presented a Quilt of Valor to two of Team Edwards' wounded warriors in order to thank them for their service."
At the commencement of the presentation, Kathey Trowbridge, AFTC Contracting Directorate resource advisor, presented both quilts and had the opportunity to read the accomplishments of both service members. She presented Tech. Sgt. Lawrence Bredwell, a fighter aircraft crew chief with the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron with a quilt sponsored by herself and her husband, Robert Trowbridge. Retired U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Chris Chebahtah, an electrical technician with the 412th Maintenance Group Bomber Instrumentation shop, received a quilt sponsored by Bonnie and Lloyd Hughes.
"The generosity, time and patriotism could not have come at a better time for me as I near my retirement and move on to civilian life," said Bredwell. "The presentation of this quilt brought back memories of my deployment and injuries I received in Iraq that I don't often purposely visit often. However, the gift of something like this overwhelmed me with a sensation of honor and appreciation for the first time since my injuries."
"For me, it was a humbling experience to be honored by a group such as the QOV and can only think of myself as a recipient for those others in my platoon and company that were Wounded In Action and Killed In Action and have not had the honor as yet," added Chebahtah. "I will make sure that those soldiers I fought alongside are aware that this is as much for them as it is for me."
As part of the presentation, Laurenti explained that the process and work behind these quilts is more than just the individual effort of one quilt maker.
"The quilts are made by individuals from our Edwards community as well as other quilting groups throughout the Southern California region. Our Edwards group consists of quilters with 10, 20, and even 30 years of experience in sewing and quilting. Those of us with more experience are also coaches to those who have no sewing experience at all," Laurenti said.
"With the help and support of Mr. Glenn Arola, from the Airman and Family Readiness Center, we are able to reach out to Sergeant Bredwell because of his service and since he is soon scheduled to retire," added Laurenti.
"The first sergeants were also a great help in reaching out to the active military warriors. Another avenue of resources was the base newspaper where I was able to reach out to Mr. Chebahtah after reading an article in which he was awarded a Purple Heart by General Nolan."
Although this was the group's second presentation at Edwards, Laurenti said she'd like to encourage all organizations throughout the Edwards community to join in and support fellow wounded warriors.
"While there is no selection process for choosing a recipient, we are still in the developing stages here at Edwards and we are reaching out to the community to spread the word," said Laurenti.
If you know of someone you would like to see receive a QOV, please fill out a "Request a Quilt Form" on the QOVF website, www.qovf.org or e-mail Janice.firstname.lastname@example.org with the requests. If the request is for someone out of state, the QOVF has regional coordinators throughout the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom to provide assistance.
For more information on becoming a QOVF volunteer, call (661) 435-4044.