HACKENSACK, N.J. — Iraqi war veteran Victoria Givens-McMillan of Hackensack is trying to show her fellow vets that their sacrifice is not forgotten -- one blanket at a time.
Givens-McMillan, who served n 2007, has spent the better part of a month braiding fleece blankets to donate to Vietnam veterans this Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
"For a lot of older veterans there isn't too much contact with the outside world," Given-McMillan, 55, told Daily Voice. "I thought bringing them blankets would be a nice way to remind them that somebody is thinking about them."
Givens-McMillan first learned how to braid the special, military-grade fleece blankets during a "Loan Survivor" retreat for soldiers dealing with PTSD.
She then made one for her friend, an older Navy veteran who was in the hospital for a hip replacement.
"His response was so overwhelming that it made me realize this would be a nice thing to do for other veterans," Givens-McMillan said.
She has since made 30 or so blankets, and has also launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with the cost of materials.
"I hope others will want to help me support this underserved group," Given-McMillan said. "The more people who donate the more blankets I can make and the more these veterans will know that people care."
Givens-McMillan is aiming to have more than 50 blankets to donate to Lyons VA Hospital in Basking Ridge and Paramus Veterans Memorial Home.
She hopes that she will garner enough support to make this an annual event.
"This isn't just my project -- it is a project of everybody who supports me," Givens-McMillan said. "Together we can bring some warmth to a lot of lonely veterans."
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