Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Last Oct 2011 our small town in East TN, laid to rest a 21 year old Marine ,CPL Frankie Watson who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan. Little did I know how much this young man's death would become a part of my quilting world. I had heard his name but at the time did not realize I actually knew him as a small child. The fact was I knew his parents. I had his dad in school when I was a teachers aide. Both parents struggled in life and I knew raising a small boy wasn’t easy and I couldn't imagine them being able to raise a small active child. Frankie was with his dad until about age 12 then TN State Trooper Lowell Watson came into his life. Lowell would bring him home from ball practices or wherever he might be. Then one day Lowell heard a school bus stop out in front of his house and off got Frankie. He had to change buses 3 times but was determined to find Lowell. After that Lowell became Frankie's guardian and I wanted to do something special for him. Frankie was a smart kid and soon was able to catch up in school, become a top-notch football player and made friends with everyone. After graduation he went to the Police Academy and soon joined the Madisonville Police Dept. But his real desire was to become a Marine. He joined the USMC and had 5 months to go before he was due to come home. I decided to make a Memory T-Shirt Quilt to help Lowell's heartache heal. I gathered his t-shirts, badges, signatures from the guys he had served with and a Marine Corp Pillow Panel. It took me awhile to decide how I was going to put it all together. Then in March 2012 while on duty State Trooper Lowell Russell's car was hit by a truck. The driver had fallen asleep. His car was thrown into a concrete median and caught fire. With the Grace of God there were 2 other police cars and and EMT in the area and Trooper Russell was pulled from car as it caught fire. For weeks it was touch and go but now Lowell is in rehab and doing well. I presented "Tribute to a Hometown Hero" to Lowell on August 12 and he was so pleased but not as much as I was to see him smile. I hope it will help with his healing process in both his heart and body. Lowell had help this young man become the best he could be. This will be the most rewarding quilt I have ever worked on and so proud to do. Spending life as a military wife and my hubby retiring from the USAF I know the sacrifices we might face.
Frankie Watson May Be Gone But Will Never Be Forgotten and Will Always Be our Hometown Hero! His Sacrifice was the Greatest!