Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
Hand-Made Hats for Homeless Vets
Andree H. Cobb, went all out in 2018, knitting and crocheting 55 hats and 66 scarves for homeless Veterans.
Andree’s husband, William J. Cobb, was a Navy Veteran, who in 1951 had taken leave from the aircraft carrier USS Tarawa in the Mediterranean Sea and travelled to Belgium to visit the gravesite of his older brother, Russell C. Cobb, who was killed in the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive on the Western Front during World War II.
The pair met by chance in Luxembourg while William was touring the tiny country on his way back from Belgium. He spotted then Andree Felicie Hammer on a train, and wrangled up the courage to ask her if she spoke English, to which she responded, “A leetle.” They spent the next several days touring Luxembourg together. By the end of his stay, and with her parents’ approval, William proposed and Andree accepted.
Andree and William were married for 64 years, raising four children together. When William passed away in 2016, Andree found herself without many of the roles that had played central parts in her life, such as wife, best friend and caregiver.
“It’s been difficult for her, but she is very resilient,” said her son, Paul A. Cobb, a registered nurse with the Mental Health Service, who works out of the VA Clinic in New Bedford, Mass. “After all, she was quite young during World War II when Luxembourg was occupied by the Germans.”
Now 88 years old, Andree cannot do many of the things she used to, but Paul said she’s proud to be able to help Veterans. Making and donating the hats and scarves for the second year now has become a very important role for her.
“I’m very proud of her, but I guess that’s fairly obvious,” said Paul. “I just want to thank her for caring about our Veterans, and wish everyone a happy and thoughtful holiday season.”