Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devon Dow
YELLOW SEA – Approximately 16 Sailors assigned to guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) received homemade “Warrior Quilts”, donated by the Sonoma American Legion, a California-based community organization, as a token of appreciation for their military service on Oct. 16.
The quilts made their way to Mustin through the efforts of Lt. Bradley Williford, Mustin’s tactical information warfare officer.
Williford heard from his wife Jannette, a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, about additional quilts her squadron, the 349th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., received from the Sonoma American Legion.
He instantly thought of servicemembers who could put them to good use.
“I was very thankful to receive the quilts and distribute them to my Shipmates,” Williford said. “I think all the Sailors selected were pretty happy. They each had smiles on their faces and were shocked to hear their names called to receive one. I have heard nothing but great compliments from the crew about the designs, and of course the comfort of the quilts since receiving them.”
The Sailors were selected through a random drawing to be given one of the 16 quilts, which came with a handmade pillowcase. Once hearing their names announced over the ship’s intercom system, they were allowed to collect their gift in the command master chief’s office.
Each Sailor selected has made it a point to have their photo taken with the quilt and to write back their quilt’s creator, showing their appreciation for the generous gift at sea.
Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Cecilio Innis said the quilt he received is his first quilt of any kind. He is thankful for the time put in to make the quilt and to have it sent to the ship. He said it is something he will treasure forever.
“When I walked in the office to choose a quilt it was a tough decision, they were all so nice,” he added. “As soon as the workday is finished I am immediately writing my letter to say thank you for the quilt. It feels good to know that people back home care about us and what we are doing for our country.”
For Damage Controlman Fireman Apprentice Eric Allen, receiving the gift meant a lot to him.
“This was a great surprise for them to do for us; I love my quilt,” he said. “All of the quilts were colorful, detailed and very patriotic, I know I am not the first to say that about them, everyone loved them. Being forward deployed has it challenges, so to receive this in the mail really shows me that people back home appreciate our service and it makes what we do out here well worth it.”
Mustin, commanded by Cmdr. Joseph Ring, is one of seven guided missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON 15) and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.