Operation Pillow Case
  “Operation Pillowcase” was created out of love and support for my son, Paul.

When Paul deployed to Iraq in November 2006, I was overtaken by fear. I needed something to keep my mind busy and occupied, so I asked my Mother to help me sew 9 pillowcases out of patriotic fabrics for my son and his 8 buddies.

Since I was making up Christmas care packages for all 9 boys, I thought it would be nice to put something special in their boxes. So, my Mother and I quickly sewed up 9 beautiful patriotic pillow cases and sent them off to Iraq.

Mom and I had so much fun designing and sewing these pillow cases that she thought we should make a pillowcase for all 50 men living in Paul’s tent in Iraq. That way no one would be left out and everyone would have their own special pillowcase. My Mom felt that 50 pillowcases would be an easy goal to achieve. Yet before we realized, our project grew from a simple 9 pillowcase idea to 522 pillowcases; one for each man and women stationed with my son at Camp Bucca, Iraq.

Since I had to return to my home in Concord, CA, my Mom started organizing her sewing team. She called upon her sewing connections; members of the Riverside/San Bernardino Chapter of the American Sewing Guild, Diane Ricks Silk Painting and Sewing Class, the “Sew-n-Go” team and members of the Arlington United Methodist Church.

These dedicated ladies set up an “Operation Pillowcase” assembly line factory. They spent hours and hours of shopping for material, designing the color patterns, sewing the seams, pressing the finished product and packaging their beautiful pillowcases which were sent to Iraq for Easter 2007.

This project, which started as a dream, became a reality due the dedication of my Mother, Father and all the wonderful ladies and volunteers of Riverside County. Not only did “Operation Pillowcase” bring a piece of home to our deployed men and women serving in Iraq but it touched the lives of all who were involved.

As of December 31, 2007, “Operation Pillowcase” has send 2300 patriotic pillowcases to our deployed men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008, we hope to send many, many more.

To read the 386th AEW Article about "Operation Pillowcase" click here.

Deborah Burrow – USAF Mom
Betty Renck – USAF Grandmother