Girl Scout provides comfort to Airmen

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron received a special delivery from a local Girl Scout troop during a visit to the unit here June 23.

Fiala Richard, 15, is in the process of making over 200 camo quilts for Airmen from Luke being deployed to the Middle East later this year.

Richard came up with the idea after a suggestion by her sewing teacher while she was looking for service projects to earn a Girl Scout Gold award which must involve using her time to help others.

“Visiting Luke today was amazing,” said Richard. “I love seeing people’s reactions and I hope the quilt’s provide comfort for the Airmen.”

The Airmen greeted the young lady with hugs as they lined up to individually receive a quilt from her. They asked questions about the process and time it took to complete them and a group photo was taken at the end of the visit.

“I was asked to help coordinate getting the quilts to the deployer’s,” said Lt. Col. Shawn Ortiz, 944th Operations Group officer. “I had no idea what the project really entailed but when I saw the camo quilts, I realized what an amazing effort it took Fiala and her team to make this happen. So much work and dedication went into making each one. They brought tremendous joy to all of the recipients, and it was truly touching.”

Each quilt takes six to 10 hours to make and the first 24 were completed and delivered with the help of volunteers.

“For Fiala and the girl scouts to think of us and put so much time and effort into hand making those camo quilts, is remarkable,” voiced one of the deploying Airmen. “I am very grateful and thankful for them thinking of us as we get ready to embark on our deployment.”

Richard has a group of volunteers helping her with the project. Not all her volunteers had prior sewing experience but she has a job for every skill level. Richard is always looking for more help to complete all the quilts before the service members deploy.

“We certainly thank you for everything you do and this is our way of giving back to you,” said Deb Richard, Fiala’s mother.

Richard has qualified and will receive the Girl Scout Gold award for her efforts.

For more information on how to help, contact the Ultimate Sewing Place in Glendale.