DILLON—It is not unusual for Kim Snyder to stay up until 2 a.m. carefully stringing red, white and blue beads together to make patriotic bracelets.
It is a ritual she has repeated countless times over the past 10 years. Since 2007, Snyder, a member of St. Louis Church in Dillon, has made more than 75,000 of the bracelets. She gives them to members of the military and their families as a way to show gratitude for their service.
All of the intricate, repetitive work of making them is a tribute to her late father, U.S. Marine Capt. Robert E. Snyder.
“I felt like this was something I needed to do for daddy specifically,” Snyder said “I felt he needed to be thanked for his service, for what he had done, and I also want to thank the men and women who are serving now. They don’t get enough credit for what they are doing for all of us.”
Snyder has given out thousands of the bracelets at area churches and through the Dillon County Veterans Affairs Office. Local funeral homes keep the bracelets on hand to give to the families of deceased veterans. She sends them in packages to military men and women deployed overseas, and always keeps some with her to hand to people wearing a military cap or in uniform.
She has received thank you notes and cards from people around the nation, and even heard from country musicians such as Lee Greenwood and Reba McEntire who learned about her effort.
Snyder is not looking for honors, however. Her bracelet project is her simple, ongoing effort to acknowledge the service of every person in the military and to pay tribute to her beloved father. The effort has become even more important to her since her father passed away in 2015.
“I think he was initially kind of shocked by the major effort I undertook, but he told me I was doing a good job,” Snyder said. “This is something I am going to continue to do for him.”
Snyder said anyone interested in receiving some of the patriotic bracelets can contact Jerry Huggins at the Dillon County Veterans Office at 843-774-1432.