July 23, 2014 Edition

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Harold Johnson (left), president of the Wings of Honor Museum Board, and Bill O'Barts, Army veteran who served 36 years, look through the signatures on the back of a traveling heroes quilt donated to the museum by Daniela McKenzie. O'Barts is one of hundreds of veterans to have signed the quilt, which has traveled across several states and overseas to Afghanistan.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl

Traveling heroes quilt donated
to Wings of Honor Museum

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Wings of Honor Museum recently received a donation from Daniela McKenzie of Reyno of a heroes quilt that been signed by over 1,500 soldiers.

The quilt was made three years ago when McKenzie received her 9-11 dedication panel, which depicts images of the American flag and bald eagles to show the country's strength.

McKenzie frequently donates quilts to Wounded Warriors and she knew she wanted to do something special with the quilt, but it wasn't until a military man came into her store and offered to buy it that she came up with the idea to instead have him sign it.

After that she took the quilt around and had several soldiers and veterans sign the back of the quilt. The quilt eventually made its way across multiple destinations in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee and people all across the country came to sign it.

McKenzie said one of the highlights was when she got the opportunity to send it to Cpt. Patrick Miller, who was stationed in Afghanistan, to have soldiers overseas sign the quilt.

"Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think this would happen," McKenzie said. She said it has been a joy to look over the names on the quilt every time it was returned to her and mentioned several little messages that have been left on the quilt that touched her.

She knew she would never sell the quilt and wanted it to instead be displayed where everyone could see it. She chose to donate it to The Wings of Honor Museum because she wanted it to benefit the community. "The community is so wonderful and the people here are so great," she said. She also added that she wanted it close by so she could visit it whenever she wanted.

However, she did leave the museum a condition before she handed the quilt over. She said that if at any time a soldier wanted to sign it, they were to be allowed to do so.

The quilt can now be seen displayed at the museum.

To learn more about McKenzie and her store, visit the Fabrics and Quilts Facebook page.

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