My cousin Daylon was sworn in to the United States Army yesterday and I am just bursting at the seams with pride! It got me thinking, as I tend to do in the month of April, of just all the family history surrounding the ones I love and the military.
This handsome fella is my Grandfather in 1956, just days before leaving for Antiugua where he would not only become a solider, but a father as well. He instilled in his grandchildren a love of country, he even created a Norman Rockwell-esque life for the ones he loved. He was the man who taught me to show respect to the American Flag, to never let the sun go down on it and how to properly fold it. He may have never seen battle but I have no doubt in my mind that he would have given anything to preserve the American Dream for his family, friends and country.
My Dad’s Father was a WWII vet who not only served in battle, but got a nifty steel plate in his head for his effort. I say nifty not out of disrespect, rather to quote him because as his 7 children, 21 grandchildren oh so many great grandchildren were growing up he always made us knock on his head for good luck!
My Dad’ brother Phil (pictured above) has been a career Navy Officer and has traveled the world doing his duty for his county. He talks often about how the best part of any time away from the family was getting a letter or care package from home. Full of homemade items and pictures, he was always kept in the loop about the goings on from the ginormous Catholic family in Ohio. He is the only career in the family, but one of 14 immediate family members that committed themselves to protect the freedom we as American’s are gifted with every day.
There is a rich family history of men going into the service to protect their country, so why is a knitter so fascinated with military service? Well, I got it into my head that there had to be something I could do besides donate blood (which I do every 8 weeks like clockwork) to help the troops. We are not swimming in cash, but I AM swimming in yarn. So with just a few clickity clacks on my keyboard I found an abundance of sites that accept knitted or handmade items for our troops. I have always knitted for Stitches From the Heart but found a few sites that were asking for warm weather wear and LOADS of sites asking for handmade blankets for the injured recovering in hospitals.
My nostalgia bone started tickling when I discovered the Knit Your Bit campaign that was put on by the American Red Cross. There was a time not that long ago that the comfort, health and safety of those who give everything for their country needed knitter’s help to survive. So, feeling rather patriotic with a new charity to knit for and the warm and fuzzies for finding another way to knit for something bigger than myself it is time to cast on!