- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

WARMINSTER, Pa. (AP) - With a husband and son in the military, Betty McQue was attentive as members of Honor & Courage Operation Ward 57 spoke about the needs of veterans returning from war.

The event at Ann’s Choice, a continuing care retirement community in Warminster, took place just before New Year’s and spurred McQue to action.

Hearing about the challenges that service members with lost limbs were having, McQue put out word to Ann’s Choice residents that she had developed a pattern to create stockings for the wounded at Walter Reed National Military Center, and would be happy to share it with others interested in participating.

A day later, 26 ladies showed up. Since then the group, who call themselves the “Knit Wits,” has doubled in size.

More importantly, as the nation on Memorial Day pays its respect to veterans who sacrificed their lives on our behalf, the Knit Wits have created close to 500 stockings to help comfort the amputees.

“I have seen firsthand people come back and have a tough time,” said McQue, whose husband, Bob, spent 28 years in the 103rd Engineer Battalion of the Pennsylvania National Guard and whose son Thomas is in the Virginia National Guard. “With this, I can sit and reach somebody, and let them know somebody does care.

“The men and women who defend our country are so committed toward protecting this great country of ours, and we are more than happy to support them in whatever way we can.”

The group, which meets once a month, receives donations of yarn from different organizations within the retirement community. “Some of the girls supply their own,” McQue said. “We collect bits and pieces, whatever people have.”

Chris Donati, executive director of Ann’s Choice, said the community has several volunteer groups that do “great things.” But for him, as the son of a veteran, the “Knit Wits” make him especially proud.

“What they do really has a special twist to it,” he said. “The fact that they came up with the idea on their own shows it’s very heartfelt.”

Additionally, Donati said, “The pieces are very nice. They’re useful and attractive.”

Lynn Swan, a resident at Ann’s Choice, said she’s seen veterans in hospitals after combat. “They seem to be so lonely. They need something like this and it warms my heart to be able to help them and do something I know they will appreciate.”

Erika Woloschyn, also a group member, said though she hasn’t knitted in 50 years, it was easy to get back into the swing.

“This is something good for me and whoever benefits from it,” she said. “It’s even therapy for me.”

The group’s efforts were recently recognized by Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, R-8, Middletown, who presented McCue with an official document containing language he entered into the Congressional Record on the floor of the U.S. House commending their efforts.





Information from: The Intelligencer, https://www.theintell.com

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