Githa Navo and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle O'Connell folding quilt.

A Warm Reminder of Home Donated For Those Serving Overseas

By Union Staff Writer Jennifer Terman

(February 22, 2013)


Sometimes small acts of kindness can make a big difference, as in the case of two local women who have crafted quilts for members of the U.S. Army.

“I think it’s important that they get something from someone who’s not their family who cares about them,” Nevada City resident Githa T. Navo said, as she handed off nearly four dozen handmade quilts she and her sister had crafted for a special delivery of sorts to soldiers serving the country overseas. Soldiers swooped into the Nevada County Air Park to pick up the quilts early Thursday afternoon via a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, making a stop during their trip from Sacramento to Reno-Stead Airport. The ability of the soldiers to pick up the quilts is part of what makes the giving successful, as the price of shipping them overseas would be too costly, Navo said. “I told them that we’re supposed to have snow in February and March, so I didn’t know if they would be able to take them with them,” Navo said. “We can’t afford to mail them, but they were able to land their helicopter and pick them up.”  

The original idea to make the quilts came after Githa and her husband, George, attended the Reno Air Races, where they were introduced to pilots. She was then joined by her sister, Ina Gibson, in creating the quilts. Last year, the women made quilts for the Nevada Army Guard’s Chinook helicopter unit. “These guys are from the National Guard in Reno where Stead Air Force Base used to be. My husband and I were at the Reno races, and we met some of the airplane guys. We’ve been making quilts since 2001 and made 74 quilts last year for the Chinook (unit).”

Githa, who received a photo from the Army of the soldiers using the quilts, said, “It is unbelievable how proud these guys are to put them on their beds and show it.”

Kyle O’Connell, chief Warrant officer 2 of the U.S. Army, was one of the soldiers stopping by the Air Park Thursday to make the delivery. He said that having folks back home reach out to those serving overseas is a big lift for the soldiers. “It’s kind of like a vacuum, and life gets monotonous, but when you have a little bit of home and know people care, it’s amazing. We are going halfway around the world, and we get to have a piece of home with us....Mrs. Navo said she’s been making quilts for our sister unit in Reno and did a bunch for the Chinook. We were flying to Sacramento for maintenance and got hold of these ladies here who asked us to stop by and pick the quilts up.”  Watch Video.

First Lt. Nigel Harrison, also on board the Black Hawk Thursday, said the recipients of the special delivery are looking forward to the quilts reaching their final destination. “This is really appreciated. It makes a world of difference. We’ve been telling people about it, and they’re really excited.”

Githa Navo and sister Ina Gibson made 44 quilts for members of the Nevada National Guard that will deploy to Afghanistan in April. A crew flew into Nevada County Airpark in a UH-60L Black Hawk to pick up quilts for the unit. Ina Gibson on the right folding quilt and talking to 1st Lt. Nigel A. Harrison on the left.

Tom Vonbargen staff Sergeant, Githa Navo, Kyle O'Connell Chief Warrant Officer 2, Ina Gibson, and Nigel A. Harrison 1st Lt.

 Ina Gibson on the right and Staff Sergeant Tom Vonbargen with a bundle of quilts.

1st Lt. Nigel A. Harrison, with Staff Sergeant Tom Vonbargen and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle O'Connell putting bundle of quilts in the helicopter.

Githa Navo, Warrant Officer 2 Kyle O'Connell, Sergeant Tom Vonbargen, Ina Gibson, and 1st Lt. Nigel A. Harrison.

 Sergeant Tom Vonbargen looking out of the helicopter as it taxi down before taking off.


Sergeant Tom Vonbargen out side the helicopter and the bundles of quits in the Black Hawk.


The Black Hawk helicopter on its way to Reno, Nevada.

To contact The Union Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call 530-477-4230. Photos are by Union photographer John Hart.



I love this beautiful story because it's about down to earth, ordinary, wonderful people doing nice things for others. I've always admired Nevada City classmate Githa (Doris) Navo for being a very special individual, but aside from her having been in the air force during her youth, I didn't realize what she's been up to now-a-days. When I heard the roar of that big helicopter at the nearby airport, it sounded frightful, and didn't realized was going on until reading about it the following day. The story brought both joy and tears to realize that these dear ladies persuaded the Black Hawk crew to stop by and pick up their quilts they made for the Nevada National Guard unit that will deploy to Afghanistan in April. Githa and Ina...Bless your hearts for all you've done.

Ramona Bryant added, "We saw the pictures & article in the paper but not all the additional pictures, of course, which were fun to see. George knew Githa - I think from when he had her son, Chris, in school. We also have done business with Chris for our septic system.
Ambitious & busy ladies. Thanks for sharing.

The ladies auxiliary at the Legion also do a nice thing when some of the military members are deployed. When George's grand daughter's husband was deployed to Iraq & again to Afghanistan, they sent him & group a box of goodies each month, which the guys really liked.