When Kristine Lindsay's son was deployed to Iraq in 2005, she knew it would be hard on his three young sons. "I saw the sadness in the boys' eyes when their daddy left for Iraq, and I needed something to do. All I knew was quilting," she says.
The next day, Kristine brought an idea to five of her quilting friends: "I asked if anyone was interested in helping me make quilts for the children of our soldiers from Wisconsin." Her idea blossomed into Operation Snuggle, which now consists of 80 dedicated quilters.
Operation Snuggle has made Gold Star quilts for the Wisconsin families of fallen heroes, and has embarked on a mission to make bed-size quilts for the 500 injured soldiers from the state.
While the quilters of Operation Snuggle never meet the families -- the Military FRG leaders pass them out in order to protect their privacy -- the kids who receive their quilts are always told it's a hug from Mom or Dad.
With 3,000 quilts to their name, the members of Operation Snuggle know there's still work to be done. "Wisconsin has 1,500 men leaving this fall, and another 3,000 around the holidays," Kristine says. "We will continue our project until every soldier's child has a quilt, and all the wounded and Gold Star families receive their quilts."