Pendleton Woolen Mills Receives Fisher House Patriots Award

Photo shows three crustal trophies given by the Fisher House Foundation as their "Patriot Award"

Patriot Award

Pendleton is proud to be the recipient of the Fisher House Patriots Award. The award was presented on March 23, 2016, at the opening of the  70th Fisher House location in Vancouver, Washington.

The exterior of the Fisher House in Vancouver, Washington.

A group of nicely dressed people, inclding representatives of the Fisher House Foundation, and John Bishop, CEO of Pendleton WOolen Mills, participate in a ribbon-cutting to open the new Fisher House in Vancouver, Washington.

The Fisher House Mission

We are honored to be part of this compassionate endeavor. The Fisher Houses provide a comforting, first-class “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes provide free temporary lodging, so military and Veterans’ families can be close to the loved ones during medical crisis.

A nicely appointed common room in the Vancouver, Washington Fisher house, with tableds, chairs, lamps, and flower arrangements.

Pendleton has supported the Fisher House Foundation since 2006. We do this by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Grateful Nation blanket and Grateful Nation vest to the Fisher House Foundation.  The Patriots Award recognizes this contribution, and will be displayed in our Heritage hallway. The engraving on the hand-finished crystal face of the award is etched with the following words:

Presented to Pendleton Woolen Mills

Recognizing extraordinary efforts supporting the quality of life of

our greatest treasure…

our military service men and women and their families

 

How they help

Overall last year, the Fisher House Foundation has helped in these ways:

  • Families served: More than 27,000 in 2015
  • Daily capacity: 931 families
  • Families served: More than 277,000 since inception
  • Number of lodging days offered: Over 6 million
  • 7,000 students have received $11,000,000 in scholarship awards
  • Over 58,000  airline tickets provided by Hero Miles to service members and their families, worth nearly $88 million

Fisher House Foundation is a unique, private/public partnership formed to support America’s military heroes, both Veterans and active duty service members, in their time of medical need. We are extraordinarily proud to support the Foundation’s humanitarian work serving those who have fought for our country.

At the March 23rd Fisher House ribbon cutting ceremony, John Bishop, Pendleton Chairman and 5th generation family, presented a special, custom-embroidered Grateful Nation blanket to the staff at this newest location.

John Bishop, Pendleton CEO, presents a special, custom-embroidered Grateful Nation Pendleton blanket to the staff at this newest location.

A close shot of the embroidery on the Pendleton Grateful Nation blanket which reads "FISHER HOUSE/VA PORTLAND HCS/MARCH 23, 2016"

On Monday, March 28, the first families to reside at the Vancouver campus Fisher House crossed its threshold. The Foundation expects to serve 500 families in the new site in 2016.

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Photos courtesy of the Fisher House Foundation. Used with permission.

If you would like more information on the Grateful Nation blanket and the Grateful Nation vest, please read our earlier blog posts here: Grateful Nation.

A side by side view of the Pendleton Grateful Nation vest, and the Pendleton Grateful Nation blanket. Grateful Nation Vest                 Grateful Nation Blanket

Our Grateful Nation

Honoring those who serve:

We have been making our Grateful Nation blanket for most of a decade, and for part of that time, we also made a Grateful Nation Vest. It honored veterans in two ways; by visually commemorating each of this century’s service ribbons, and by donations  to The Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation provides residences near military and VA medical centers for families of ill or wounded veterans and service members. A portion of the sale of each blanket goes to the Fisher House Foundation, as well. 

Cue Chris Winters, a Puyallup tribal member and veteran who understood that we were no longer making the vest, but wanted to know if we had fabric available. He sent photos of his own vest.

ChrisWintersVest

Said Chris, “I am on a Tribal committee and we not only wear Pendleton vests for ceremonies. ..we gift your native blankets to guests, elders, and returning warriors.” Chris is very involved in IUPAT, a Washington State organization that offers outreach, support and training for Native veterans. This group marches in local parades honoring servicemen in their Grateful Nation vests, decorated with the medals earned by veterans who have served our country.

Puyallup veterans in the Grateful Nation vests.

The role of Native Americans in our military cannot be understated. Books have been written and movies made about Native Code Talkers in both World Wars. The percentage of Native Americans serving in the military is higher than any other minority group in America.

The Vest Returns:

We’re bringing back the Grateful nation vest this next fall, in 2014. We thought you’d enjoy seeing the vest worn in Tacoma, Washington area parades and ceremonies by Native veterans who have served our country well. 

Chris-in-his-vest

And thanks, Chris, for reaching out. 

Here’s the blanket in the  IUPAT office.

A Grateful Nation blanket hangs in the UPAT offices, which provides outreach and community to Native American veterans.

Click below for more information about the blanket and the meaning of each service ribbon stripe.

Grateful Nation blanket by Pendleton

The blanket design:

The Grateful Nation blanket  honors the sacrifice of brave men and women who have defended freedom throughout the history of the United States of America. Each authentically colored stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts in which our country has engaged:

  • World War II Asiatic Pacific Campaign
  • World War II Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
  • Korean Service
  • US Vietnam Service
  • Southwest Asia Service (Gulf War)
  • War on Terrorism

A portion of every blanket’s sale goes to support the Fisher House Foundation and its mission to support the families of veterans. As their website states:

Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers nationwide and in Europe.   Fisher Houses are beautiful homes, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs.  These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time – during the hospitalization for a combat injury, illness or disease… Since 1990, the foundation has saved military, veterans and their families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

Veterans Day Blankets to Thank Those Who Serve

Two Special Blankets

As Veterans Day approaches, two Pendleton blankets deserve some special attention.

First, the Grateful Nation blanket honors the sacrifice of brave men and women who have defended freedom throughout the history of the United States of America.

Grateful nation Pendleton blanket

Each colored stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts in which our country has engaged:

  • World War II Asiatic Pacific Campaign
  • World War II Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
  • Korean Service
  • US Vietnam Service
  • Southwest Asia Service (Gulf War)
  • War on Terrorism

Sales of this blanket help support The Fisher House® Foundation, which provides residences near major military and VA medical centers for the families of ill or wounded service members.  For several years, this blanket pattern was available as a vest. Pendleton was proud to present these vests to the living WWII veterans who were honored in Washington, DC.

Navajo Code Talkers

Another blanket that honors a specific group of United States military veterans is The Code Talker blanket.

Code Talker Pendleton blanket

This design honors the crucial role played by Navajo servicemen in defending our country during World War II by developing a code that could not be cracked, based on the Navajo language.

Historical photo of Navajo Code Talkers

The history of the code talkers  is more riveting than any fiction.  You can learn more at their official site, and at other sites that tell this fascinating story, which was told in the popular movie “Windtalkers”.  This blanket was  officially retired as of 2012, but the WWII Navajo Code Talkers are still alive and will be honored this Veterans Day.

Choctaw Code Talkers

Choctaw Code Talkers at honors ceremony

They don’t have a Pendleton blanket, but the Choctaw Code Talkers of WWI   will be honored along with the Navajo Code Talkers of WWII at Maxwell Air Force Base as part of November, the National American Indian Heritage Month.

Historical photo of the Choctaw Code Talkers

And the Smithsonian will feature exhibits on the Code Talkers from both of the Great Wars. We have no word on whether or not the blanket will be included in this exhibit, but it has been featured in papers and exhibits about the Code Talkers since its introduction. That makes us happy, as these blankets have been woven in America with special pride.

Pendleton label with eagle

We salute and thank those who fight for our country. The dedication and sacrifice of our military should be honored not just on Veterans Day, but every day.