A warm reminder of home donated for those serving overseas (VIDEO) | TheUnion.com

A warm reminder of home donated for those serving overseas (VIDEO)

Jennifer Terman
Staff Writer

Sometimes small acts of kindness can make a big difference, as in the case of two local women who have crafted quilts for members of the U.S. Army.

"I think it's important that they get something from someone who's not their family who cares about them," Nevada City resident Githa T. Navo said, as she handed off nearly four dozen handmade quilts she and her sister had crafted for a special delivery of sorts to soldiers serving the country overseas.

Soldiers swooped into the Nevada County Air Park to pick up the quilts early Thursday afternoon via a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, making a stop during their trip from Sacramento to Reno-Stead Airport.

The ability of the soldiers to pick up the quilts is part of what makes the giving successful, as the price of shipping them overseas would be too costly, Navo said.

“We are going halfway around the world, and we get to have a piece of home with us.”

— CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER 2 Kyle O’Connell, on handmade quilts

"I told them that we're supposed to have snow in February and March, so I didn't know if they would be able to take them with them," Navo said. "We can't afford to mail them, but they were able to land their helicopter and pick them up."

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The original idea to make the quilts came after Navo and her husband, George, attended the Reno Air Races, where they were introduced to pilots.

Navo was then joined by her sister, Ina Gibson, in creating the quilts. Last year, the women made quilts for the Nevada Army Guard's Chinook helicopter unit.

"These guys are from the National Guard in Reno where Stead Air Force (Base) used to be. My husband and I were at the Reno races, and we met some of the airplane guys," Navo said. "We've been making quilts since 2001 and made 74 quilts last year for the Chinook (unit)."

Navo, who received a photo from the Army of the soldiers using the quilts, said, "It is unbelievable how proud these guys are to put them on their beds and show it."

Kyle O'Connell, chief Warrant officer 2 of the U.S. Army, was one of the soldiers stopping by the Air Park Thursday to make the delivery.

He said having folks back home reach out to those serving overseas is a big lift for the soldiers.

"It's kind of like a vacuum, and life gets monotonous, but when you have a little bit of home and people care, it's amazing," said O'Connell.

"We are going halfway around the world, and we get to have a piece of home with us."

"(Navo) said she's been making quilts for our sister unit in Reno and did a bunch for the Chinook," O'Connell said.

"We were flying to Sacramento for maintenance and got ahold of these ladies here who asked us to stop by and pick the quilts up."

First Lt. Nigel Harrison, also on board the Black Hawk Thursday, said the recipients of the special delivery are looking forward to the quilts reaching their final destination.

"This is really appreciated," Harrison said. "It makes a world of difference. We've been telling people about it, and they're really excited."

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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