For the last two years, ninety-five year old US Navy World War II Veteran, Nikki Smith, has been knitting hundreds of holiday scarves for deployed US troops.
When Mrs. Smith was ninety-three, she saw a woman knitting scarves at the local armory where she was volunteering. She asked the woman how to make the scarves and when she learned the pattern she went right from the armory to the craft store for some yarn and knitting needles. As soon as Nikki back to her home she got right to work knitting scarves.
About a year after Nikki began knitting she learned of Operation Gratitude, a charity based out of her own state of California that donates over 150,000 care packages to US Service Members, both current and former, annually. Mrs. Smith contacted Operation Gratitude and donated the one hundred scarves she had created since meeting the woman at the armory.
Nikki is still making scarves and they are included in the packages from Operation Gratitude. Each scarf comes with a note from Nikki herself that reads, “Handcrafted with love and gratitude in every stitch by Grandma Nikki who was a World War II Veteran US Navy.
Even after serving her country Nikki still continues to do so by keeping our troops comfortable. Nikki says that it is difficult for her to keep knitting due to arthritis in her fingers, but she also says that it isn’t easy for the troops and if difficulty doesn’t stop them, then it won’t stop her either.
Kudos to Jonathan Veitch for showing me this story, if you would like to join Mrs. Smith in her knitting for the troops there are plenty of online tutorials and patterns for beginners and every level up.