Caprock Quilters sew on memories
USAF photo: Senior Airman Cardenas Amy Armenta irons a star-patterned quilt at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center on Feb. 19. She is a member of Operation Home Front Quilts, an organization that sends quilts to families of fallen servicemembers. Since April 2004, Cannon's group has made and donated nearly 600 quilts.
The beginning of Operation Homefront Quilts began on a May afternoon in 2003 when Jessica Porter, a young quilter, thought of the idea of sending handmade quilts to the families of every fallen service member, regardless of the branch in which they served. With the help of her mother, Joanne Porter, and her community, the organization was lifted off its feet.
On Feb. 19, Caprock Quilters met, like they do on the third Friday of every month, at the Airman and Family Readiness Center to contribute to Operation Homefront Quilts. With a goal of sending 100 quilts per year, Caprock Quilters are just shy of that goal, with 510 so far as their sixth year rolls in.
The volunteers send their finished quilt tops to the Porter’s home in the Gulf Coast town of Hudson, Fla. When the donated quilts and quilt tops arrive, mother and daughter carefully go through them to match the patterns and designs with family stories of the deceased troops and the lists of survivors they have gathered from Internet searches of hometown newspapers and casualty information from the Pentagon.
The Porter’s also research the members’ family history. Small tidbits and memories that brought smiles to their families faces would be embroidered onto the quilt, making it more of a memorial than a project.
The volunteers of the Caprock Quilts usually consist of active duty members and the spouses of retired military. They meet and set up shop from about 10a.m. to 4p.m. Everyone is welcomed to join the group and help contribute to Operation Homefront Quilts mission.
For more information, call Ellen Saccoai-Smith at (575) 784-4228.