While Donnea Simon, a dual member of Post and Unit 352, was recovering from knee surgery back in 2005, she took up crocheting, a lifelong hobby of hers. After making blankets, scarves, and sweaters for almost everyone she knew, she ran out of projects. That is until she remembered from her prior Air Force days that “sand doesn’t hold heat at night.” Mrs Simon discovered that she also suffered from a form of basal joint arthritis – a service-related injury, and as a form of exercise and way to keep her thumbs and wrists moving, she started making watch caps for servicemen and women and donating them to the state’s Operation Homefront organization.
While visiting other posts and district or division conventions within Texas, she readily gives a short speech “for the good of the Legion” or to the Auxiliary about her program “Caps 4 troops” while recruiting volunteers across the state of Texas to begin crocheting caps, too. Currently, there are over 50 men and women in Texas crocheting “Caps 4 Troops”.
Not all of her caps go to Operation Homefront. She saves a few for local high school students who enter the military after graduation. Sometimes a local church will call her for a donation for their members who are currently serving overseas or for caps for the local Blue Star Mothers group. She has even been known to stop a jogger along the street, recognizing the haircut as that of a soldier, and asking them if they are in the military. When they have confirmed they are, she reaches into a bag in her vehicle and pulls out a cap to present to the person on-the-spot.
She has to-date personally crocheted over 1600 caps for all branches of the military in the two short years since she started Caps 4 Troops.
To help out, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for crocheting or knitting instructions for the caps.