Karen Ehlert is sure “it’s pretty darn cold’ in the mountains of Afghanistan in the winter. With her 27 year old son, Ted, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Karen decided she wanted to help his squad.
She received an e-mail from Ted with an idea – knitted helmet liners. They cover the head and neck, leaving only the eyes and nose exposed. “They are not exactly a fashion statement, but I can imagine they’re nice and warm” Karen said. “I do a lot of sewing, a lot of crafting, and I don’t think he knew I couldn’t knit,” Karen commented of her son’s suggestion.
Her first reaction was one of compliance – she wanted to do the knitting project because it was a need identified by her son. But her second reaction was more practical, “how the heck am I going to do that?” she asked. “About 40 years ago I learned enough to try to knit a sweater and learned enough to know I can’t knit.” But she decided that if that’s what her son says he needs, she would find a way to provide.
So, Karen, who recently turned 65, decided to use her organizational skills to pull this off. She recruited accomplished knitters and was granted $1,000 from the local Rotarians for the wool yarn. To date, 130 helmet liners have been collected at the local RSVP office.
“I think it’s a great thing what Ted is doing,” Karen commented. “I’m just supporting our troops however I can do it”.