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      Seniors braid survival gifts for soldiers

      A group of senior citizens at the Friendship Center in Emmet County spent the day making gifts to send to soldiers fighting overseas.

      " We are just hoping that the troops feel the encouragement of us folks back home by just getting a small item in the mail ," Sue Ann Bowense, RSVP Program Coordinator said.

      W ith gratitude in their hearts , these senior citizens braid each knot into a survival bracelet.

      "Each bracelet is made of eight feet of paracord, which is a very strong nylon cord," Bowense said.

      P aracord is usually used for parachutes. I t's extremely strong and can hold up to 550 lbs.

      T hese bracelets come in handy for soldiers in battle , where they can use them for a number of purposes.

      " They can deconstruct the bracelets in and use them in an emergency ," Bowense said.

      T hese bracelets will be sent to a nationwide initiative called operation gratitude.

      E ach year , they send out 100 ,000 care packages including these bracelets to men and women serving in the military.

      A nd for these seniors MLK day marked a perfect time to give back.

      " You don't often get an opportunity to do much for the military other than keep them our thoughts and prayers so being able to send something across to them is really a great opportunity for us ," Michaleen Karay, volunteer said.