Scouts present lap blankets

Cub Scout Wolf Den from Kansas pass out crocheted blankets to local veterans

By Nancy Zeman nzeman@prairiepress.net
Posted 11/18/19

For a little more than a year, Linda Macy-Jones of Kansas has been crocheting lap blankets for veterans.

The Kansas native, who returned to her hometown after traveling with her ex-husband who was …

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Scouts present lap blankets

Cub Scout Wolf Den from Kansas pass out crocheted blankets to local veterans

Posted

For a little more than a year, Linda Macy-Jones of Kansas has been crocheting lap blankets for veterans.

The Kansas native, who returned to her hometown after traveling with her ex-husband who was serving in the United States Air Force, began making the red, white and blue blankets at the request of Paris American Legion member Don Lucas, who was a longtime member of the 1544th Transportation Company of the Illinois National Guard.

“He was providing me a ride to a medical appointment through Faith in Action (of Edgar County),” Macy-Jones explained. “He asked me if that was something I could do.”

Macy-Jones said the request touched her heart. “God has given me a calling,” the mother and grandmother said. “I’m supposed to do this.”

Her more than a year’s worth of work brought smiles and warmth on a cold November day to 17 residents of Paris Healthcare Wednesday, Nov. 13. The robes were presented during a ceremony arranged by Paris American Legion Post 211 past commander Terry Hackett and current Commander Paul Hanks.

Each of the 17 robes took about three days to make, Macy-Jones explained. “It just depends on how much I stick to it. It does take quite a bit of time,” she said.

The first robes she made she mailed to her friend who is a veteran. He sent her money to buy more supplies. “God was calling me,” she said.

Macy-Jones was also happy the five members of the Cub Scout Wolf Den in Kansas were present to make the formal presentations. According to Den Mother Suzanne Tomshack, the second graders will earn the adventure belt loop as part of the Hometown Heroes work.

In addition to participating at the lap robe ceremony, the members talked to former U.S. Marine Blake Gough, father of den member Nathan Gough, who discussed about being a hero. To complete the work, Tomshack said, the boys were required to honor a serviceman or veterans by giving them something and thanking them for their service, to find out about an animal that is trained to help others and to participate in an event that celebrates hometown heroes. The boys did that by being part of the Veterans Day program at the Kansas school.

Members of the den are Ryder Adams, Kyson McClarey, Nathan Gough, Henry Tate and Kruz Lee. The den is sponsored by the Kansas Lions Club.

In addition to the ceremony presentations, the Cub Scouts visited with veterans who were not able to leave their rooms to attend the ceremony. Each of those veterans were thanked for their service and presented the lap robe.

Macy-Jones said it is important for children to have interaction with veterans including those in nursing homes. “It shows the veterans someone cares,” she said.

Each of the Cub Scouts took a lap robe from Hanks and walked to each of the 13 veterans who attended the ceremony. Each boy thanked them for their service to the country and then presented them a blanket. Some helped the veterans arrange the lap robe so the veterans could begin using them right away.

Macy-Jones noted the pattern for the lap robes varies a bit but most are what she called Granny Square.

Following the formal ceremony, Hackett led the Cub Scouts, Macy-Jones and Hanks to the rooms of the veterans who could not attend the ceremony. The first visit was to Tom Switzer who served in the U.S. Army in the late 1950s. A native of Paris, Switzer said his home was located on the Lower Terre Haute Road.

Macy-Jones’ work on more lap robes will have to wait for a bit. She recently underwent surgery to repair carpal tunnel syndrome in one of her hands. “I’ll get back to it once my hand has healed and completed physical therapy,” she concluded.