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February 19, 2013

Afghanistan bound troops will be a little warmer thanks to Centerville woman

Fern Broshar crocheted more than 100 skull caps for the 833rd Engineering Company

CENTERVILLE — Fern Broshar wanted to do something to support the troops. The 93-year-old mother of  retired Col. Robert D. Broshar said that many members of her family and her husband’s family have served in the armed services over the years, and they all came home uninjured.

“I’ve always been thankful for that,” said Broshar.

Over the years, Broshar has crocheted and donated may items to clubs and organizations around the county to be used in raffles or give aways. It’s something she enjoys doing.

When her daughter showed her a magazine story about how troops really wanted skull caps to wear under their helmets during extreme temperatures in the mountains of Afghanistan, Broshar got the idea to crochet caps for the Army Reserves that were getting ready to deploy from Ottumwa.

Broshar said she found out on Dec. 7 that she would need to knit 100-105 hats to outfit the entire 833rd Engineering Company.

She had 32 caps made at that point.

Broshar said she didn’t know if she could complete the project, but she was determined. She said that Wal-Mart donated several skeins of yarn to the project.

In the end she completed the 105th beanie hat on Dec. 30.

Broshar made the caps in black, brown and camo and several different sizes.

She presented the caps to the 833rd Engineering Company on Saturday, Jan. 26. They deployed on Monday, Jan. 28.

The Company will be gone for one year. They will first complete training before traveling to Afghanistan where their job will consist of conducting route clearance, monitoring the routes and look for improvised explosive devices.

According to an Ottumwa Courier article about the 833rd Engineering Company, this is the third deployment for 15 members of the group. The 833rd was last deployed in 2007.

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