About Me

My photo
I was 53 in June. I feel like I'm 30. I live in Cold Cold Wisconsin. But, I love it here.. I found fabric and quilting about 8 years ago.. I fell in love with it.. I also enjoy paper art.. I'm not sure how I kept my sanity before I started doing art. I found rubber stamps about 10 years ago and have gone on to anything and everything.. I have been blessed with creative talents and love to express myself in art. I have 2 children .. one girl who is 15 and a boy who is 17. My husband and I love to hunt,canoe and just enjoy the outdoors together.. We all love the outdoors and go up to northern Wisconsin as often as possible. I'm a 14 year breast cancer survivor.. you can view more of my art at http://laurakrasinskiquilts.blogspot.com www.picturetrail.com/barngirl or my teaching, lecture and vending schedule here http://laurakrasinskisartontherun.blogspot.com

Friday, January 29, 2010

My adopted soldier

Hi all.... I want to share something with you.  Awhile back my quilt guild got involved in a project called Quilts of Valor.  (for more information on quilts of valor go here  http://www.qovf.org/)  I'm not a good traditional quilter so I wasn't involved much.  I made a pillowcase that one of the quilts would be stored in until it found a home.  The homes are soldiers and vets who fought in the war and were touched by war.   I was watching the news one night and there was a moving story about a soldier named Ben.  Ben is from Menomonee Falls, where I live.  I don't have any close connections to a soldier and Ben's story really moved me.  I wanted to help him.  He had been through so much.  I will post his story as written on his caring bridge at the end of this post.
I asked the Oconomowoc Quilt Guild if I could get a quilt to give to Ben.  He was coming home for Christmas (09).  They had a quilt to me within a few days for me to give to Ben.  The quilt was one of the most beautiful quilts I have seen.  It was made by Jean Higleman from Brookfield Wi.  Ben received the quilt on Christmas at his parents home.  His sister wrapped it for him.  I had dropped the quilt off at his fundraiser a few weeks before.  Ben really liked it.. as you can see by the smile on his face.  As the story goes on I sent photos to the guild and to Quilts of Valor.  And it so happens that they want to use the photo of Ben and his quilt in American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  This is pretty exciting.  Ben is going to be having a lot of Physical Therapy and is in a lot of pain.. if you could please keep him in  your prayers that would be wonderful.  He needs all the prayers he can get.  Now.. drumroll please... here is Ben and his Quilt of Valor.. he is a true hero... and my adopted soldier.  Hang in there Ben.. We all are pulling for you....

Background Story

On July 2, 2009 Ben left for his second tour of duty, serving with the Blackhawk 8-1 Cavalry in Afghanistan. He was scheduled for a year long tour of duty.

On the morning of Sunday, September 13, 2009 we received word that the vehicle that Ben had been driving hit an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and that Ben had been severely injured. All that we knew at that time was that Ben had sustained a head injury and severe injuries to both of his legs. We were told that we would receive updates on Ben's status every eight to ten hours. The next few hours were very stressful for all of us, filled with anger, tears and heavy hearts. Later that afternoon a phone call came in bringing great news! Ben's injuries, although serious, were not as bad as initially thought. He had sustained a laceration to the back of his head and had compound fractures to both of his legs. We now knew that the injury to his head did not involve his brain, but were unsure of the full extent of his leg injuries.

We learned that the blast occurred when Ben's squadron was in route to pay a farmer for damage that they had done to his watering system while completing a mission on the previous day when the vehicle encountered an IED. Ben was driving a Stryker Armored Vehicle, one of the newer kinds of military vehicles containing a double layer of armor, when he drove over the IED that produced, in Ben's words, "one hell of a blast!" There were five other soldiers on duty with Ben that day, one including a medic. They pulled Ben from the vehicle, and a Blackhawk helicopter was on the ground to airlift Ben to safety within minutes.

Ben was stabilized in Afghanistan and had some surgeries done. He was scheduled to be airlifted to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. In Germany, Ben would have any additional surgeries that he required, and his wife, Tara, would be able to be with him while he began on his long road to recovery. On Monday, September 14 we received news that Ben had been honored with a purple heart!

After being boarded onto the first plane that was scheduled to leave Afghanistan for Germany and getting in the air, Ben's plane caught on fire and had to make an emergency landing. Finally, on Wednesday, September 16 Ben arrived SAFELY in Germany. Since being in Germany, we have learned many things about the extent of Ben's injuries. Even with all the damage to Ben's legs, there was NO damage to the nerves in his legs. He is able to wiggle his toes on both feet. In addition, fractures were found in Ben's pelvis and vertebrae (thankfully
, these fractures will heal on their own and do not require surgery). Best of all, we learned that Ben should recover 100% from all of the injuries he sustained while serving our country!


bettyp said...

Thank you so much for posting Ben's story !! What a Hero he is !! Please keep us updated on his recovery .
And God Bless YOU!!

Patti G. said...

I am so glad that Ben is recovering from his service to our country and the injuries he got in the explosion. I am also so happy to think that he can wrap himself in a quilt of love, created by a talented quilter and feel that we all hold him dear and that people DO CARE. Thanks for chosing him as your adopted soldier and I wish ALL the service men and women, injured or not, could feel the appreciate we, as a nation, have for them! GOD BLESS the MILITARY who protect our country and our freedoms! How fun for him to be in a quilting magazine, I bet he never thought that would happen in his life time! :0)

Leonie said...

So very glad to hear Ben is making steady progress and I am happy to hear he was in a Stryker. My husband is part of the General Dynamics team that builds them here in Canada for the US army and although they are not impervious, they save more of our/your boys from more serious injuries in most cases. They are an amazing vehicle to protect incredible young men like Ben. We will keep Ben and Tara in our thoughts and prayers.

Elizabeth said...

Our Quilt Guild is working on these quilts as well- great project and so fabulous to see that Ben is doing well and is so thrilled with his glorious quilt!!
Great Job Laura for making this all happen!!!! You rock, woman!!!

Alycia said...

Thank you for sharing Bens story. The picture is wonderful!

Marilyn Rock said...

Laura! So happy Ben will be recovering. The troops are our true heroes. I'm in awe of you; you always work on art with a cause! Love ya - Marilyn

Anonymous said...

I've been sitting her crying after reading your blog about Ben and reading Ben's site. My son is an Army Commander and my nephew just got back from Afghanistan as a remote IED detonation soldier. It is such a priviledge to read his story!