A woman to look up to. A woman to emulate. Every year the American Legion Auxiliary seeks to honor a leader and motivator with its Woman of the Year Award. First presented in 1984, the Woman of the Year Award has been conferred on the famous and the relatively unknown, including political leaders and astronauts, editors and singers, First Ladies and members of the military, social advocates and writers. The impact of their work or their advocacy is great and aligns with the mission of the Auxiliary, to serve veterans, their families, and their communities. The Woman of the Year Award is presented at the Auxiliary’s national convention.2012 Woman of the Year Quilt-maker, military mother-in-law, and American Legion Auxiliary member Linda Wieck has been named the 2012 American Legion Auxiliary “Woman of the Year” for her positive impact on the quality of life for active-duty military servicemembers, veterans and their families.
Prior to being deployed to Iraq in April 2006, Linda Wieck’s son-in-law, Todd, asked her to make him a quilt. Wieck pulled out her sewing machine and designed the quilt using Todd’s specifications that it be small, made from camouflage cloth, and have cotton batting.
When Todd was at Camp Shelby, Miss., for training prior to deployment, other servicemembers in his unit saw the quilt and wanted to buy one. Wieck, a member of American Legion Auxiliary Ladewig-Zinkgraf Unit 243 in Plymouth, Wis., was asked to make each of them a quilt, which they offered to pay for. She scrambled to finish all 48 before they left for Iraq in July 2006.
Today, 17,600 quilts have been made and distributed to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan thanks to the Camo Quilt Project. Each quilt takes about three hours to make, and volunteers sew 500 quilts per month.
Established in 1984, the Woman of the Year Award recognizes outstanding women who exemplify the values and ideals of the American Legion Auxiliary, particularly those whose contributions advance the quality of life for America’s military, veterans, and their families. Criteria & Selection
*Given as the "Lifetime Achievement Award"
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"Just knowing an organization like the American Legion Auxiliary exists, providing support to our military and our families even when we're gone, makes a world of difference."
- ALA member and Indiana National Guard Col. Marilyn Moores