For their latest community service project, members of the Nite Owls Quilt Guild have made patriotic quilts in honor of U.S. military personnel from Kansas who lost their lives in 2011. These red, white and blue quilts are being presented to gold star families through American Legion posts, said guild member Joyce Burnham.
“We’ve already delivered one to the Olathe American Legion,” Burnham said. That will go to the family of Army Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, who died Aug. 6, 2011, in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, was also among the 30 troops killed in the helicopter crash.
Each quilt has the service member’s name, rank and branch of military service, and a gold star. The styles and sizes of the quilts vary, but most have nine-patch blocks.
Guild members chose the quilts as a service project last spring, and got to work stitching in the fall. By that time much of the material needed had been donated. “We spent one Saturday putting things together,” guild member Lavada Kraft said.
The Military Times reports that 69 Kansans have fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. The website militarytimes.com provides access to the database of those who died in military service. It can be found from the home page via the link “Honor the Fallen” (www.militarytimes.com/valor/).
Those killed in 2011 were:
• Army Staff Sgt. Eric M. Nettleton, 26, of Wichita, on Jan. 5, 2011
• Army Sgt. Thomas A. Bohall, 25, of Bel Aire, on May 26, 2011
• Army Pfc. Cody A. Baker, 19, of Holton, on Aug. 3, 2011
• Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, on Aug. 6, 2011
• Army Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, Olathe, on Aug. 6, 2011
• Army Spc. James R. Burnett Jr., 21, of Wichita, on Nov. 16, 2011
All of the soldiers died in Afghanistan.
The guild meets twice a month at the CPI Annex in Great Bend, and often has a weekend meeting, which was the case this past Saturday. Some members worked on their own projects, but the guild has a tradition of making items to give away. In 2010 they made quilts for patients of Golden Belt Home Health and Hospice.
The Nite Owls meet from 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. For more information, contact Lavada Kraft by calling 620-792-7573; Terri Merritt, 792-7998; or Diane Schultz, 793-9040.