CAMP ZAMA, Japan – A one-of-a-kind community quilt designed by more than 35 units and private organizations was unveiled during a ceremony here Tuesday.
The quilt, which has each of its squares representing a unit or organization in the community, will be permanently displayed on the first floor of Building 102, the U.S. Army Garrison Japan headquarters.
“It’s a great example of the community spirit and volunteerism happening here inside our community,” said Col. Christopher L. Tomlinson, commander of USAG Japan. “We hang this quilt as a symbol and what that means to us is setting the standard once again.”
Maigen Bosch, a spouse community volunteer, spearheaded the project that took about eight months to complete.
“I wanted to do something to represent our community as a whole,” Bosch said. “[I wanted to] take our differences and bring them together to create something that was truly unique and that unifies us.”
Bosch collaborated with the organizations to produce and sew designs for their respective blocks in the quilt, which measures about 6 feet by 6 ½ feet.
“When we all come together, we create a beautiful community,” she said. “That’s really what I wanted to do; that was my motivation. I don’t look at it as my quilt. It’s not what I did, it’s what we did.”
The event also helped kick off Military Family Month, which has been held every November since 1996 to recognize the sacrifices military families make.
“With being in the military, we know that comes with some challenges and stressors especially in an overseas environment,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Justin E. Turner, senior enlisted leader of USAG Japan.
While community members may be moved from their extended family, friends and support system back home, Turner said they become part of a unique group of individuals at Camp Zama.
Turner said the quilt signifies the diversity found within the Camp Zama community, which is comprised of about 30% active-duty Soldiers, nearly 20% U.S. civilian employees and 50% local national employees.
“What really makes our community great is that diverse background,” he said. “We pride ourselves on being a well-rounded and diverse community that is very supportive of the different cultures that we have.
“All of our community members play a very important role in sharing some of the interests, goals and attitudes that make us great and make us a Camp Zama community and Camp Zama family.”