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      Military wife joins husband's mission, one knit at a time

      Being on her own is nothing new for one Crawford County woman.

      Her husband is on his second tour of duty, the first time in Iraq, this time, in Afghanistan.

      As any military wife will tell you, it doesn't get easier.

      The woman you are about to meet has found a way to support her husband and make a difference in a far away country.

      "Sitting here, I can block out everything," explains Kim Skillern.

      As a military wife, Kim Skillern says it's stressful waiting for her husband, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Erik Skillern, to return home from Afghanistan. But until that day comes sometime next fall, she's staying connected in another way, and that??s crocheting beanies for Afghanistan children.

      "I think it would just be gaining the trust of the locals that letting them know that we're there to help," says Kim.

      Her husband wanted to give the children something other than the Gatorade he typically passes out. He thought beanies would be a perfect gift. Kim pulled out the needle, and has crocheted 11 beanies in the past week and a half.

      "To have that one thing that she made brings it all together for him probably. It's very important to boost their morale too," explains Annette Whitcomb.

      Eight year Air Force Veteran Annette Whitcomb saw what Kim was doing and has since dusted off her crocheting needle.

      ??A lot of people miss sight of what the family members are doing in support of their husbands and their children and what they have to do on a daily basis without them there," says Whitcomb.

      And Friday, the first shipment of beanies will be sent to Afghanistan

      The key to passing the time is to stay busy, so any activities, craft, whatever, it does help, it just gives you a few minutes of time to yourself, to not think about the situation," says Kim.

      Kim has had other friends pick up the needle and crochet hats.

      She said if you'd like to pitch in, she'll take care of the shipping overseas.

      Kim tells me she wants to continue making those beanies to send over to Afghanistan. She??s not setting herself a limit, but she says she could use your help. If you have a little extra yarn, or a couple extra dollars, you could donate to her to send those goods overseas.

      Kim Skillern??s cellphone: (231)349-2010


      Kim Skillern

      9705 Sherman Rd.

      Frederic, MI 49733