Association Honors 'Sew Much Comfort' Founder

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2007 - The founder of an organization that provides comfortable and functional adaptive clothing to wounded servicemembers is being honored for her efforts.

Ginger Dosedel, an Air Force wife and founder of the group "Sew Much Comfort," is one of the National Military Family Association's 2007 Very Important Patriots, an honor for which a friend secretly nominated her.

"I was very surprised and honored," Dosedel said. "It's nice when recognition comes from a friend unexpectedly."

Sew Much Comfort provides clothing specially adapted for wounded troops recovering in military hospitals. Off-the-rack clothing often doesn't accommodate medical devices.

She was humble about the award.

"This is not an award for one person, because one person could not have accomplished what 'Sew Much Comfort' has done," she said. "It's the whole organization that gets the award, and when (it) gets recognized, ... it validates your efforts and makes you feel good about what you've done."

Dosedel established Sew Much Comfort in December 2004. The program has since grown to include providing adaptive clothing to Iraqi and Afghan children treated in U.S. military medical facilities.

"We definitely want to show our support and appreciation for those long-time volunteers that have done family support throughout the years and given back to their communities," said Michelle Joyner, director of communications for National Military Family Association. "At the same time (we want to) recognize that there have been some really unique initiatives that have made an impact, and Ginger's group, Sew Much Comfort, is one of those."

Dosedel developed an expertise making adaptive clothes when her 13-year-old son, Michael, was younger. He had to undergo multiple surgeries on his legs, which prevented his wearing of regular clothing. His mom started making him clothing to accommodate the casts and large metal braces while he recuperated. "It was just great to see Ginger take (that) expertise ... and being able to give that back to her community," Joyner said.

Both the National Military Family Association and Sew Much Comfort are supporters of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, which connects citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.

The National Military Family Association also recognized these four individuals for its Very Important Patriot Award:

-- Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Bates, of Navy Expeditionary Command, Calif., for his positive influence on at-risk youth and their families;

-- Toni Caragiulo, a Navy spouse stationed in Naples, Italy, for her work bringing the Navy Compass program to Naples;

-- Shannon Maxwell, a Marine Corps spouse currently stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., for her work co-founding "Hope for the Warrior," a nonprofit organization supporting wounded servicemembers and their families; and

-- Marine Staff Sgt. Ricky Saldivar, stationed at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Texas, for his volunteer work with a gang-prevention program, a juvenile detention center and a local food bank.

This award includes a $1,000 cash prize and a trip to the nation's capital for the award ceremony, which will be held on Nov. 13.

The National Military Family Association also selected four military family members and a servicemember to honor with the 2007 VIP Award of Honor, which includes a $500 prize. The recipients are:

-- Dawn-Michele Hirata, an Air Force spouse at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.;

-- Deborah Johns, a Marine Corps family member, in Roseville, Calif.;

-- Capt. Theresa Bunn, of the Army Reserve stationed at O'Connell Reserve Center, Okla.;

-- Alyson Jackson-Hill, an Air Force Spouse at Aviano Air Force Base, Italy; and

-- Julie Watson, an Air Force Spouse, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

The association also chose four recipients for its 2007 VIP Award of Merit, which includes a $250 prize. They are:

-- Justin Brundin, an Army family member at Fort Hood, Texas;

-- Georganna Cushing, an Army family member at Fort Richardson, Alaska;

-- Army Capt. Candace Hurley, at Fort Jackson, S.C.;

-- Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Timothy Farley, of Richmond, Va.; and

-- Tanja McIntosh, an Army spouse at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Association Honors 'Sew Much Comfort' Founder [ ]