Recently, our church’s women’s ministry had an opportunity to join Shawn and Becky Schrader’s Military Ministry in making quilts for all the babies born while their fathers were deployed on the USS Shoup, USS Momsen, and USS Lincoln. After the wild quilting whirlwind (we only found out about 10 days before the Momsen and Lincoln came home), I got a chance to go down to the pier at Naval Station Everett and help hand out quilts to the new moms.
I don’t have words to describe how emotional this day was for me. We arrived at 6:15 a.m., met with Chaplain Jeff, and drove our quilts to the pier, where we set ourselves up in a booth and waited for the moms. As they arrived, bus-delivered and pushing strollers, we called them over to our booth and offered them their choice of quilts. I looked at those moms, and the babes who had yet to meet their sailor fathers, and I was struck — with unexpected suddenness — by the great sacrifice these military families have made on my behalf.
I don’t think I’ll look at a soldier or sailor the same again.
I may not have words, but I do have pictures:
The Lincoln comes home.
This Momsen couple won the “first kiss” raffle. You should have heard the cheers.
A new dad sees his baby for the first time.
This baby’s dress is covered with little cameos of Lincoln. Her mother had the most delightful southern accent.
Austen’s father gets a first glimpse of him.
Flowers for mom …
This baby approves of her new quilt.
“My quilt has puppy paws? Well … okay.”
I found this lieutenant and was able to send him all his reunion pictures …
… but I couldn’t find this sailor. Still hoping.
Welcome home, sailors … and thank you for all you do. We appreciate it more than words can say.