A Bay County couple is uding their late son's military uniforms to honor him in a unique way by sewing them together with some of their favorite memories in a quilt.
It's hanging at the St. Andrew's Quilter's Guild annual Quilt Show all thanks to one guild member who knew this piece deserved to hang where it could be appreciated by many.
A regular trip to the sewing shop to buy a spool of thread, lead a woman to tears, but not because of sewing supplies, because of the stories those supplies can tell.
"He showed me, took me in the back room and showed me Mr. Charlie's quilt and I stood in front of it and he told me the story of it and I was just moved to tears," said Janet Adams with the St. Andrew's Quilter's Guild.
The story behind the fabric is Jacob Thompson's.
"The third of august he called me and he says, 'Dad, we're getting ready to come home, we'll be leaving here in about two weeks and we'll be in Washington' and I said Mom and I will be out there waiting for you," said Charlie Thompson.
Jacob was just shy of completing his second tour in Iraq with the U.S. Army.
"One thing that was so strange, at the end of every one of our conversations, at the end we always say, I love you, I love you. This particular time he says, 'Dad, I just want you and mom to know, I really love you.' and sure enough, four days later I get the telephone call that he had been killed," said Thompson.
A few days later, Charlie and his wife received a trunk full of Jacob's things, including his uniforms, but Charlie wanted to make sure those uniforms didn't just stay in that trunk.
"I knew I wanted to do a quilt with them, but you have to have the right pattern. You can take a pattern and throw material in, but for me it had to be right," said Thompson.
He eventually found the perfect style with the pattern named "heroic".
"I liked the blank squares so I could put in pictures and do embroidery," said Thompson.
Charlie purposefully left one imperfection, though.
"There is a little hole, a wear hole so that you can look at that and say, yeah, that must have been a uniform that was worn. Worn fighting for our freedom in Iraq," said Thompson.
Charlie and his wife have two other sons and plan on giving them that quilt and another one they made, also out of Jacob's uniforms. They hope the quilts will continue to be passed down through their family for generations.
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