Girls piece together warmth for mom in Iraq

Published 10:38 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2008

WINDSOR—Despite being on the other side of the world and away from her family at Christmastime, it will be a warmer holiday for Patricia Lapp.

That’s because the girls from Girl Scout Troop 179, which includes two of her daughters, worked together to sew her a personalized quilt as a Christmas present.

A patchwork of patriotic patterns with red and blue squares, the center of which is emblazoned with the six girls’ names, the quilt took about six hours for the scouts to create. They worked on the project at the Quilt With Me shop in Windsor.

Jackie Golden, the shop’s owner, said the girls started working on the quilt project on Dec. 5 and completed it the following Friday, Dec. 12.

“(The fabric) was already cut and it was all ready for them to start sewing,” Golden said, adding that she hoped the quilt making would become a tradition for the Girl Scout troop.

Felicia Mobley, who is serving as the troop’s leader during Lapp’s absence, said Sandra Whitlow made a $100 donation toward the materials needed for the quilt, which was most of the cost. Golden said the materials for the quilt cost about $126 total.

Lapp, a technical sergeant with the Air Force, has been in Iraq since the beginning of September. She is scheduled to return to the U.S. on Jan. 20 and will be on active duty at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton.

Randy Lapp, Patricia’s husband, said this is the first Christmas his wife won’t be at home.

“I said (to Patricia), the next time you want to go in deployment, do it when there are no holidays,” Randy Lapp chuckled. “Don’t do it during the holiday season.”

Randy Lapp also said that his wife’s current tour in Iraq is her third in a foreign country, her having previously served in Germany and Afghanistan. Her deployment in Afghanistan was 75 days long and took place two years ago.

“She’s getting me back,” Randy Lapp said. “I was in the Navy for 20 years. I did a lot (traveling) here and there. Now it’s her turn to have fun.”

Melissa Lapp, 7, said she has a dinosaur calendar at home and is coloring it with markers, counting down the days until her mother comes home.

“(Mom) sounded good and she said she was healthy,” Melissa Lapp said about the last time she spoke with her mother.

Melany Lapp, 9, said both she and her sister did some Christmas shopping at their school. Both girls bought ornaments to be sent along with the quilt.

Mobley said Patricia Lapp asked the girls to figure out a way to spread joy during the Christmas season. The girls came up with the quilt idea.

“She’s going to be very shocked,” Mobley said.