Air Force Civilian Receives Spirit Of Hope Award
(November 8, 2009)
Horace Larry, deputy director of Air Force Services, congratulates Virginia Dosedel, recipient of the Spirit of Hope Award, as Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Linda Hope, daughter of Bob Hope, look on, Oct. 27, 2009, during a Pentagon ceremony.
WASHINGTON (10/30/2009 - AFNS) -- Air Force leaders presented a civilian
employee with a Spirit of Hope Award Oct. 27 for enhancing the quality of life
of injured service members and their families.
The award is named in honor of Bob Hope, the first honorary veteran of the U.S.
Army for his 50-plus years of entertaining troops, both in peacetime and in
Each year, the five services and the Department of Defense can nominate
individuals or organizations for the award that consists of a bronze or silver
medal with a bas relief of Mr. Hope. This year, the Air Force's award went to a
financial analyst assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, for
epitomizing honor, integrity, selfless dedication and outstanding service to the
United States of America.
Virginia "Ginger" Dosedel is the founder and executive director of "Sew Much
Comfort," a non-profit charitable organization providing adaptive clothing to
severely injured returning service members. Based on a suggestion by her then
11-year-old son, a cancer survivor suffering from numerous surgical procedures,
she started with a simple vision to make specialized adaptive clothing. Ms.
Dosedel began with a small group of volunteers that has grown to more than 1,000
seamstresses, creating more than 100,000 garments to cover prosthetics for
wounded warriors. |
Ms. Dosedel also recognized a need for adaptive clothing at combat hospitals in
Iraq and Afghanistan, specifically to support injured children in those
countries. So she created a second non-profit organization called "Children's
Comfort Sewn." Through the garments provided to hospitals and medical centers
around the globe by both organizations, she has helped restore pride and dignity
to injured service members and children.
Before Ms. Dosedel was presented the award, Secretary of the Air Force Michael
Donley spoke about the distinguished service Mr. Hope provided armed forces
members around the world, and how the award recipients have honored his spirit
"The men and woman we honor today have internalized Bob's vision of service to
others," Secretary Donley said. "Thank you for your service and for your
enduring commitment to our communities and for honoring those who continue to
serve our country."
Linda Hope, daughter of the award's namesake, shared Secretary Donley's
sentiment about how the award recipients have done great deeds on behalf of
"It's very inspiring to see the work's that's being done and the outpouring of
good will that goes forth every single day," she said. "I know that would be a
source of great inspiration to my dad and something he would be very proud to be
Following the award presentation, Ms. Dosedel thanked her family for their
support and acknowledged that the real heroes are the seamstresses who volunteer
"I think Bob Hope had a vision that the military needed something other than
combat, like the intangible spirit of home and comfort," said Ms. Dosedel. "We
thought it would be important that wounded service members be provided adaptive
clothing to recover from their injuries with comfort and dignity."
Unlike most clothing, Ms. Dosedel said the products her organization produces
take on a personal touch.
"I think what is unique is that everything is touched by a human hand ... love
and dedication and thankfulness in every stitch," Ms. Dosedel said. "As a
military spouse, it's very heartwarming to see so many people across the country
Carla Bergner, an ambassador for "Sew Much Comfort" at Walter Reed Army Medical
Center, said the garments she delivers have touched the lives of the patients.
"The clothing is a huge benefit to the wounded service member," said Ms.
Bergner. "Many have injuries which prevent them from putting on standard
clothing. The adaptive clothing, with the Velcro up the leg or arm, makes it
easier for service members to dress themselves or be assisted by family members.
Marine Sgt. Michael Blair, a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, added
that the adaptive clothing has been instrumental during his recovery.
"It gives you a sense of independence and a sense of modesty," said Sergeant
Blair, who was severely injured in May 2006 during a security patrol mission in
Iraq. "It is just a nice feeling to know that there were people out there like
Ginger and others in her organization who were willing to go above and beyond.
"Knowing that there are people in this country who are willing to come thank us
for our service and do things like this for us is a blessing," he added.
Article by MSgt. Stan Parker
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Photo by Michael Pausic
Air Force News Service
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