Jun 5, 2006

Patriotism & Cross Stitch

What started out as a gift of love for her Dad has turned into a patriotic mission. Although cross stitch is disappearing from the shelves of our stores, young Brittany is helping to keep the craft alive by making stitched gifts for soldiers in Iraq. I, myself an avid stitcher, am creating a memorial piece for a 22-yr old soldier who was killed in Iraq during 2004. Once finished, Freedom will be mailed to his family in Belvidere, Illinois. Here's more about Brittany's story:

Posted: 6/5/06

Brittany Limanen just wanted to give her dad something special before he left for Iraq. Now she is making something special for 150 soldiers. Brittany was simply making a “see you later present for my dad,” she said. “I thought it would be cute for my dad.”

Before Coon Rapids resident Brian Limanen was deployed to Iraq, his 10-year-old daughter made him a cross-stitch USA hanging decoration that she and her mother, Brooke, purchased at a local craft store. “He almost didn’t get his before he left, because I messed up the first one,” Brittany said. So, in a scramble she and her mother purchased another kit and got busy cross-stitching another one for her dad. “I finished it just before he left,” Brittany said.

Her father’s National Guard unit was activated in September 2005. He spent several months in training before being deployed. “It’s lonely at dinner because he would always tell us about stuff he learned that day,” Brittany said. Brian is a facts guy. “He is a walking/talking encyclopedia,” Brooke said. “He always shares facts with the kids.” Brian is a staff sergeant with the 134th Red Bulls. His job is fixing artillery, mostly on tanks. His unit will be in Iraq until May 2007.

“It was really hard when he left, because I’ve heard of all kinds of bad stuff happening to soldiers and I didn’t want anything bad to happen to him,” said Brittany. As soon as Brian was situated in Iraq, he hung up the special gift from his daughter. “He was really appreciative to receive that from Brittany. He said that it was pretty special,” Brooke said.

One of the men in Brian’s unit saw his cross-stitch decoration on the wall and told him that he wanted one. So, Brian asked his daughter to make one for his friend and Brittany began working on another cross-stitch project. Soon, more and more requests were coming in and before she could finish the second decoration, Brian had requested 150 USA cross- stitched decorations for other soldiers in Iraq.

“It feels special because I started this. It’s pretty cool,” said Brittany. A fifth-grader at Morris Bye Elementary School, Brittany works on this special project as often as she can. She receives help from her mother and grandmothers. “I think it’s awesome,” Brittany’s mother said. “She sees the drive in her dad and his love for the Army and it’s her drive and support that makes me so proud.” It takes her about 12 hours to complete one decoration, according to Brittany. The plan is to finish and have the cross-stitch decorations to the soldiers by July 4.

“She is daddy’s little girl. They have such a special bond,” said Brooke. Both Brooke and Brian graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1994. They have been married for 11 years.
They also have a son, Bradley, who is five.

HometownSource.comECM Publishers, Inc.
4095 Coon Rapids Blvd.
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
by Jennifer Kivioja
Staff writer
ABC Newspapers


Singular Stitches said...

What a great story!

Thank you for the very nice comment you left on my blog. I'm excited, because now I have a new blog to read!

Shelleen said...

What a great story, thanks for sharing.